Thursday, 28 May 2015 15:10

Pinsonat: The Jindal-Louisiana legislature veto override debate

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pinsonat2With less than two weeks left in the Louisiana legislative session, no issue is more important than the $1.6 billion budget deficit.  While there remains a possibility that the legislature might find enough money with the combination of revenue-raisers and budget cuts that would satisfy all parties involved, there is also the possibility that the legislature will defy Gov. Bobby Jindal and his allegiance to Grover Norquist of the Americans for Tax Reform --and approve a budget that raises taxes without a corresponding and equal cut in government spending.  


In part two  of an email Q&A interview (below) with Bernie Pinsonat, I asked the Southern Media and Opinion Research pollster his opinion about the potential gubernatorial veto and the possible legislative response.

In part one, we discussed the political landscape of the Louisiana legislative session and upcoming Louisiana elections.

Governor Jindal is at a record low, perhaps equal to that of Governor Blanco during the height of the national disasters, Katrina and Rita.  He has vowed to veto the budget if it includes taxes and so far, it appears the budget does. Should the legislature seek to override him on such an important issue to him and to many republican legislators, what impact do you think that would have upon those legislators who vote in favor of an override?  Those not in favor of override?

Political surveys continue to show voters are not in the mood to pay higher sale taxes and or gasoline taxes. Threats by universities and hospitals had little or no impact on the outcome of voter’s anti-tax attitudes. Governor Jindal could certainly use this anti-tax sentiment and make his veto safe from an override. Giving Jindal an opportunity to criticize legislators who voted to increase sales or gasoline taxes – I’m betting he jumps all over that fast ball and hits a home run!

When legislators are pushed to raise hundreds of millions to fund universities – this additional revenue has to come from some entity. Legislators are currently following the path of least resistance to fund next year’s budget shortfall and least dangerous path affecting their reelection outlook. Reducing or disallowing tax exemptions generally sail over the consciousness of most voters and this approach is certainly better than raising taxes directly out of the pocket of tax payers in an election year.

 If the specific revenue sources used to avoid budget cuts do not incite voter’s outrage back home: Why wouldn’t legislators vote to override his veto? Most legislators are running for reelection and Governor Jindal is not!  Governor Jindal could allow the legislature’s budget to become law without his signature.   

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Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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