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babe cap 7Legislators were high fiving this week over the balancing of the state budget by increasing the already highest sales tax in the nation. Fully funding the TOPS tuition program for college students became the centerpiece for much of the discussion. But through all the euphoria of self-congratulation, lost in the shuffle was the failure to address or even discuss early childhood learning and funding the child-care assistance program.

 

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The US Supreme Court has now become a major November election issue now that Justice Kennedy is retiring which will go into effect July 31.  Trump surprised the nation in 2016 with his victory and one of the major issues was the Supreme Court. To the Democrats disadvantage, that topic appeared to be more important to Republicans than Democrats as the battle cry for conservatives was "Remember the Supreme Court"

 

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The Louisiana legislative session is history but politics continues year-round. Bayoubuzz’s Louisiana political shorts for today involves these top stories—new Secretary of State candidate, Congressman Clay Higgins picks up endorsements in his re-election bid, Louisiana Democratic Party is very upset about today’s US Supreme Court Decision, Revenue Estimating Conference meets--bye Fiscal Cliff and Congressman Mike Johnson files new religious freedom bill

richmondCongresman Cedric Richmond, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus issued this statement today defending Congresswoman Maxine Waters after her urging the refusing to accomodate members of the Trump administration in public restaurants, gas stations and other similar locations.

trump poison fruit 7If there’s “fruit of the poisonous tree” tainting the Mueller probe, it comes from a tree planted by president Donald Trump. The phrase is catchy, however, even if it’s completely inapplicable during the course of an investigation. Once a trial, or proceeding, has commenced, and evidence introduced, a defendant, then, may object that any proffered evidence was illegally, or improperly, obtained. Until evidence is introduced admissibility isn’t an issue. It’s no surprise, though, that Trump will say, or do, anything to impede the investigation into Russia that may touch him, personally.

huck 7The Red Hen got egged today, except it was the wrong bird.  The Washington DC Red Hen which has nothing to do with the one in Virginia whose owner disgustingly gave Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the boot, has received threats and eggs thrown at it.

 

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Now to pick up the pieces of the Louisiana budget. What are the budget watchers saying now that the legislature budget is all but put to bed?  Will we see future cuts or even taxes down the road? Here are comments from the progressive-leaning Louisiana Budget Project, one day after the Louisiana legislature resolved their differences:


FISCALL CLIFF FIXED 7Finally, after three special sessions and a regular one, it's time to relax, do the things that hard-working legislators (and governors) long to do after a long grueling hard-fought battle over the budget--pick up the pieces of one's life and, if at all possible, spend quality time with family, check out those hires burning at the office and hopefully take a moment of leisure.

The fiscal cliff, that seemingly insurmountable object in front of every legislative session since Bobby Jindal took his shot at taming the budget, is fixed. Yes, fixed. At least, on paper and hopefully, in reality, until perhaps, the next mid-decade.

The Louisiana legislators and governor, who have spent almost every day in session since mid-February of this year, have settled upon a budget deal that reduces the sales tax from five cents to 4.45 cents. Today, The Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges, who has been there with the legislators as each tick has tocked on the capitol clock, took a few moments to discuss with me--the session and the budget agreement. The interview occured via Facebook and Twitter Live.

Below is the video transcript of the relevant portions of the interview with Bridges, who will also soon post a "behind the budget deal scene" article for The Advocate.

lege agree 6According to a tweet by Times Picayune capitol bureau reporter Julia O'Donoghue, who knows, there might be some type of compromise in the legislature during the special session. The reporter indicated today that the "Talk is that the new sales tax rate that they will be trying to pass in the House is a 4.45 sales tax rate. That's between the 4.4 sales tax rate the House GOP wanted and the 4.5 sales tax rate".

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The latest attempt of the left to distract from the good economy has been the wall-to-wall media coverage of the “zero tolerance” border policy. Part of the policy included separating parents and children if they were apprehended trying to illegally cross the border.

These images caused liberals throughout the country to become hysterical. Actor Peter Fonda made an online threat against the President’s 12-year old son. This caused Melania Trump to contact the Secret Service. Unfortunately, Fonda was not arrested and his Twitter account was not even suspended. This was quite a different reaction to the outrage that resulted from Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet. Barr lost her hit ABC show, Fonda is still promoting a movie that will premiere this weekend.

edwards jindal 6Is there some way that Louisiana can gets its budgetary house in order? What is the problem? Did it begin under current Governor John Bel Edwards?  Is Medicaid the culprit? Can we reform higher ed?

On Tuesday, I discussed the budget with former State Representative Brett Geymann, a budget hawk, who was term-limited and who left the legislature after the 2015 election.  Geymann believes that the state budget should be tied to the economy and we will publish his thoughts on this tomorrow, as we went more into detail on that issue in the latter part of the Facebook, Twitter and Youtube Live discussion.

 

russia vote 5

”The Russians are coming!  The Russians are coming!”  And according to politicians in both parties, they are out to infiltrate the entire U.S. election process.  A special prosecutor is looking under every rock to find out the culprits involved.  And down here in Louisiana, the Secretary of State’s office is calling for the immediate replacement of some 10,000 voting machines at a cost of $60 million. Wow! This looks like a really crisis. But is it? 

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