jbe alario speaker henry 4stepThe Louisiana capitol is ready to start its Louisiana Legislature tax chicken dance.  On one side of the floor are Governor, John Bel Edwards and democrats. On another side are fiscal conservatives.  And, in the middle are a group of lawmakers who believe the state is reaching a moment of urgency.

The question is—who’s going to take the first step and blink as the music is quickly getting ready to start?

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jbe fiscal echoWinter is still here. The Louisiana days are getting a little longer. The threat of another special session to plug a massive hole in the budget is getting closer. 

The mantra of fiscal cliff still fills the air as it has now winter after winter, year after year.

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fiscal cliff jbeLouisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is going on a full-court radio press to push his side of the fiscal cliff.

Today, the Governor sent out the below summary of his administration hitting the airwaves:

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stephen waguespack small InPixioby Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI)

Not sure if you have noticed or not, but there is something called the fiscal cliff looming in Louisiana. If you haven’t heard of it yet, sit tight, because you will hear a whole lot about it over the next few months.

The 2018 crisis will be filled with plenty of drama, finger pointing and inflammatory rhetoric. Every (former, current and future) politician will say it is the other (former, current and future) politician’s fault for the deficits and lack of agreement on the appropriate mixture of taxes and cuts to fill it.

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brown scrubJim Brown, former State Senator, Louisiana Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner, knows a little bit about the term, “scrub the budget”. That was the term famously used by former Governor Buddy Roemer, who came from election nowhere in the final weeks of the gubernatorial campaign, to beat then-incumbent Edwin Edwards, Billy Tauzin, Bob Livingston and Speedy Long in 1987.

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budget cut capital 5The "Fiscal Cliff" is upon us and is making news throughout the state as once again, Louisiana is looking at a roughly one billion dollar hole, if not much more.

How will the state solve the fiscal problem remains to be seen.  Below are two perspectives, one from the conservative organization, Pelican Post and the second from Louisiana Budget Project.

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edwards alarm smallThe sky is falling, the sky is falling.  At least the Louisiana fiscal sky is in a tailspin, or so says Governor John Bel Edwards and a number of legislative leaders.  The hue and cry is for one billion dollars in new taxes along with significant fee increases.  Even the local papers are chiming in with headlines like “The fiscal threat is real to colleges” and about to “get real.”  What a poor taxpayer to think?

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edwards presser mar9The war of words over how to deal with a budget deficit or otherwise in Louisiana annual parlance, the fiscal cliff, is mounting as the temporary sales tax comes to an end this week. The sales tax brings roughly one billion dollars into the state coffers. 

Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has taken to the press pulpit to argue that Republican moderates want a plan presented by their members but the fiscal conservatives refuse to present one, thus, a budgetary showdown that will result in major reductions in government spending.

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 fiscal cliff jbeA recent poll by Southern Media and Opinion Research shows that Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards enjoys a 65% approval rating among voters. Edwards, the only statewide elected Democrat, has seen a surge in his poll numbers since the last legislative session. 

Unfortunately for Edwards, there is a legislative session slated to begin in the spring. According to pollster Bernie Pinsonat, the Governor’s “job ratings are apparently affected by legislative sessions with talk of taxes and budget deficits.” 

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trump lagop edwardsHours after the United States President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress celebrated a humongous legislative victory with passing its tax reform package in record time without any Democratic support, back home in Louisiana, there's a different tune being sung.

First, up in DC: The US tax reform plan passed without any hearings and sworn testimony.  Very few, if anyone in Congress read the legislation since none of them even saw it until an hour or so before the vote. That legislation, which passed and signed into law today, put the finishing touches upon the Trump-led US Congressional congressional agenda in which all respect for the ordinary congressional process was ignored. Earlier this year, Republicans unsuccessfully yet similarly attempted to repeal Obamacare without any hearings, or participation by the minority Democrats and yes, without legislation being available for lawmakers to debate. 

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