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waguespack compressedby Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI)

The devil is always in the details.

The state government deficit is big and the Legislature is in a special session called by the governor to review his plan for solving the problem. His plan is largely dependent on new taxes and the argument being made by his administration (with a few exceptions) is that spending cuts and large-scale structural budget reforms are either not feasible or require too much time to implement.

 

appropriations morrisBy now, it might appear that almost all Louisiana voters, are acquainted with the fact that Louisiana has a deep budget problem and that the new Governor, Jon Bel Edwards, who ran on a platform of not raising any taxes, has changed course. 

emptyWhile the Louisiana legislature probes through different ways to close a budget gap of almost three billion dollars, there are questions whether the state is simply giving away money, or worse, perhaps acting through negligence, malfeasance or in some cases, simply paying out more than is collected. 

kennedy appropriationsTreasurer Kennedy slaps Jindal, Jon Bel Edwards on state contract bill

Treasurer John Kennedy was in rare campaigning form today as he testified on House Bill 96 which would reduce certain state contracts by 15 %.  In doing so, he took special shots at former Governor Bobby Jindal and current governor Jon Bel Edwards for not focusing upon state contracts as a well to cut the state budget deficit.

louisiana legislatureThe Louisiana legislative fiscal office has issued the fiscal analysis of the penny sales tax.

The tax, if approved would increase from four percent to five percent.

popePope Francis is a man of great compassion and humility. He shows tremendous concern for the young, the elderly and the sick. He advocates for those who have been forgotten, such as the homeless. He has shunned the luxuries and trappings of his position and performs his duties in a much more modest style than his predecessors. These are admirable qualities and set a good example for all Catholics. 

lsuAlong with the state’s healthcare system, Louisiana’s higher education has taken quite a wallop over the course of the eight years under former governor Bobby Jindal and the then-legislature.

ralloUnquestionably, so far, the most controversial issue coming out of the Louisiana's extraordinary special session so far has been the fate of higher education and the state's brand new governor, Jon Bel Edwards' comment regarding university football possibly being shuttered next year due to major budget woes.

streamTreasurer John Kennedy is making a name for himself lately as he leads the US Senate race in recent polls.  He is the only statewide elected official and has taken full advantage of a budget mess by hitting the radio and TV circuits promoting his position that Louisiana has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

dardenne adRepublican Jay Dardenne, Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards's Commissioner of Administration tells the legislature, “we don’t have money to finish the year”. Republican Tony Bacala wants other parts of state government shut down but save higher education.

JINDAL NORQUISTBefore the new Democratic governor could even spend his first full month in the Governor’s mansion, Jon Bel Edwards, as expected, came under fire.   He must have known it would happen.  Everybody else did, it would seem.  After all, he is the only statewide democratic elected official in a land surrounded by a hostile sea of red lawmakers.

senateIn a Spring 2016 poll just released by Southern Media and Opinion Research, Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards, who has been in office for little more than one month is already facing the challenge of his political life and it is not just the horrible budget he inherited from Repblican Governor Bobby Jindal. 

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