Hours after the United States President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress celebrated a humongous legislative victory with passing its tax reform package in record time without any Democratic support, back home in Louisiana, there's a different tune being sung.
First, up in DC: The US tax reform plan passed without any hearings and sworn testimony. Very few, if anyone in Congress read the legislation since none of them even saw it until an hour or so before the vote. That legislation, which passed and signed into law today, put the finishing touches upon the Trump-led US Congressional congressional agenda in which all respect for the ordinary congressional process was ignored. Earlier this year, Republicans unsuccessfully yet similarly attempted to repeal Obamacare without any hearings, or participation by the minority Democrats and yes, without legislation being available for lawmakers to debate.
On Monday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards spoke in general terms about his plans for the upcoming fiscal cliff which is anticipated to be around $1 billion for the year beginning July 1, 2018. At a luncheon today Edwards delivered remarks at an event hosted by Committee of 100, Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) and the Louisiana Budget Project.
Is Louisiana looking at another special session in 2018 to deal with—what seems to be the never-ending budget shortfall? What is Governor John Bel Edwards doing to fix what appears to be an annual rite of spring—budgetary emergency management? And, just how bad is the budget bleeding going to be given that the state could fall off that proverbial fiscal cliff which near-fall was softened two years ago with a penny sales tax increase and other measures?
In part three of the November 2 interview with Stephen Waguespack, the President, and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the leader of the largest business organization in the state discussed these and other issues confronting the state, once again.