Several quick financial fixes are being discussed in the current session of the Legislature involving the expansion of gambling. Here’s an interesting thought. Why is it that Louisiana and neighboring state Mississippi are always on the bottom of every national ranking involving virtually every aspect of a state’s quality of life? Yet casino gambling is widespread throughout both states at a level not found any place else in America outside of Las Vegas.
How dee is the real hole in the Louisiana budget are we? Does the state really willing to cut governmental services without raising revenues, which is what the Speaker of the House Taylor Barras seemed to indicate yesterday, when questioned, which could prevent another revenue-raising special session?
Louisiana has good news, kinda.
The state’s Revenue Estimating Conference met today and recognized $346 million in revenues, most primarily due to the Republican-Trump tax cut leaving a difference in the budget shortfall of $647M which is obviously much better than the $997 million hole we were looking at prior to the regular session. That’s the good news.
Even as they complain about the possibility, environmentalist wacko protesters prove the point of the necessity of a Louisiana law that could limit their tantrums.
HB 727 by state Rep. Major Thibaut would add pipelines to the category of critical infrastructure. The state already protects from trespassing at these various sites such as power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants, water treatment facilities, and natural gas terminals. Violators could draw as many as 15 years in prison with a $10,000 fine, going up to 20 years and $25,000 if the action could threaten human life or disrupt site operations. And, conspiracy to do so carries the same penalty.
One of the major issues going through the legislators of various states in America, including the Louisiana legislature now in session, is the issue of gun control. Ever since the Parkland school shooting, the debate has become heightened on many levels.
Today, as part of our regular Friday morning Facebook and Twitter Live discussion, Colonel Rob Maness discussed the current developments in the Louisiana legislature. Below is the transcript of our conversation on this point. Also below is the video of the live discussion.
We have teachers leaving their classes, protesting low pay and inadequate financial support for schools; Kids are taking off from class in droves, making sure their once muted voices are being heard on matters such as gun-control and weapons in schools. Once again, the state budget is a total mess and the voters are up in arms.
Does Karen Carter Peterson, the Chairperson of the Louisiana Democratic Party support repealing the second amendment?
Rob Maness seems to think so and points to the evidence. A tweet by Peterson, that states "Repeal the Second Amendment" which includes the very controversial op-ed in the New York Times, earlier this week by no less, than former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who advocated that it should be repealed.
There were several gatherings at the state capitol in Baton Rouge last week. Former legislators gathered for their annual reunion to catch up on old friendships and reminisce about past legislative accomplishments. And the few living delegates from the 1973 Louisiana Constitutional Convention were honored for their service as talk of a new convention was being debated in the capitol halls. One theme ran through both gatherings. Why aren’t problems being solved? Why so little cooperation? Where is the vision?
Once again, special interests win at the expense of Louisiana taxpayers and its most vulnerable citizens. These greedy hogs yesterday defeated in committee SB 357 by Republican state Sen. Conrad Appel, which today caused Republican state Rep. Tony Bacala to set aside his HB 334. Both bills would put the state on course to creating a long-term managed care system for persons with disabilities. This change in philosophy discomfits nursing home interests, who benefit greatly from current state practice that biases placement of individuals in nursing homes instead of in their own homes or the community. While waiting lists for access to this care, called waiver programs, has steadily risen to 28,000 people, Louisiana nursing homes enjoy a gravy train at their expense.