In response to the Republican-controlled House Appropriations committee's decision to fully fund TOPS and not providing funding to other areas of state government, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the House Appropriations Committee’s decision "to make drastic cuts to higher education, health care, including partner hospitals and medical schools, and public safety"
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.
Has the Louisiana legislature become a battle-ground of anger and acrimony, based, in part upon political philosophy and to an extent, whether willing to admit it, or not, race? Essentially, this was the first question asked in Bayoubuzz’s interview with The Advocate’s Reporter, Elizabeth Crisp, who covers the Louisiana legislature.
Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, after completing a failed fiscal session ending last week, embarked upon the regular session today, held annually during the Spring. The fiscal session was called as a special legislative session so revenues could be raised. These revenues or taxes cannot be raised during a regular session. Edwards wants the session to end early so it can engage in another fiscal session at the end of the regular-scheduled spring session to handle the close to one billion dollars in budget shortages.
Below is the transcript of today's speech to the Louisiana legislative session. The speech was streamed live by Bayoubuzz.com with related tweets off to the side.
One million dollars down the drain to pay for a special session of the Louisiana legislature. And all for naught. The Governor is hollering that the financial sky is falling and the state is in dire fiscal straights. Legislators protest that their hands are tied by too many constitutional dedications. And since there is little appetite for trimming the budget, the legislature now begins its regular gathering at the state capitol with a shortfall of over one billion dollars.
S&P released a statement following the Louisiana legislative fiscal session debacle which ended without a solution to the state's serious budget problem. Of note, S&P stated Louisiana "inched closer" to its "manufactured" fiscal cliff.
When Ronald Reagan wanted to push a bill through a recalcitrant House ruled by Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill (as bad as he was, O’Neill was still head and shoulders above current Speaker Paul Ryan in terms of leadership and ability), he would go on national television and appeal directly to the American voters.
The Louisiana legislative process crashed with no fix for the massive fiscal cliff. What happened and where do we go from here?
This was the gist of the questions I had for Tyler Bridges, reporter for The Advocate, who covers the Louisiana legislature and politics for the newspaper. Now that the legislative fiscal session 2018, called by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, is history and all that’s left for now, is the blame game. It is obvious that DC politics has hit Louisiana. Republicans and Democrats don’t trust one another. Not that this comes as a surprise. But what might be the impact to the state and vital institutions, now that the impasse has been recorded?
Once again, a special legislative session ended in disaster for the taxpayers of Louisiana. During the administration of Governor John Bel Edwards, there have been five special sessions, each one costing taxpayers approximately $1 million. For a state that is supposedly facing a “fiscal cliff,” it is outrageous that we have wasted $5 million on special sessions.
An obviously dejected Governor of Louisiana faced the news media Monday afternoon after failing to bring the forces together to fix what is commonly called the Fiscal Cliff problem of roughly a billion dollars that faces the state due to the expiration of temporary sales taxes and other measures. It was second straight legislative session and the second straight defeat.