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.
Will the Louisiana Legislature Humpty Dumpty be able to be put back again?
The Legislative session, which has been up and running now for the past ten days, or so, has fallen off of the wall. Some might believe the fiscal session never got off the ground onto the wall, at all.
What’s going to happen with the popular tuition program for Louisiana university students, called TOPS? Will any part of the penny sales tax that was passed as a temporary measure two years ago remain on the books? Back then, the legislature, facing a nearly one-billion dollar shortfall that needed to be made up in a matter of three months, arising from the Governor Bobby Jindal administration budget meltdown worsened by lower oil prices, opted for a single penny sales tax that will sunset later this year.
On Monday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the legislature and the state in opening another special session to try to plug a fiscal hole.
Today, Bayoubuzz launched its first segment of its daily, twice per day segment discussing the legislative session, "Bayoubuzz Live: Louisiana Legislature", streamed to Facebook and Twitter.
It’s not so much whether Louisiana’s House of Representative’s Republican delegation can unite to address immediate fiscal concerns, but whether some faction of it will defect to hand Louisianans a big tax bill for the foreseeable future.
The Louisiana legislative fiscal session starts today, is scheduled for no more than 17 days. A week later, the regular session begins. For the first time ever, session watchers will be able to watch live streamed legislature information on Facebook and Twitter and on Bayoubuzz.com.
So, let the olympic-sized Louisiana legislative fiscal debate match begin!
On Monday, the Louisiana legislature convenes at the state Capitol for another special fiscal session to make an attempt to fix, what we might call, the always-existing revenue hole fiscal cliff.
Tomorrow, Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to call for a Louisiana legislative special session which would begin roughly seven days later, if things go as being reported. Edwards had urged the Republicans to come up with a plan to fix the roughly one billion dollar hole for the year starting July 1, 2018, or no session would be called.
They haven’t. Nonetheless, Edwards is left with little other choice. If they were to wait until after the regular session is complete, in the beginning of June, there would not be sufficient time for parents to plan for tuition, for schools to plan schedules and for hospitals to plan their respective budget which starts weeks later.