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.
That Gov. John Bel Edwards endorsed sham “tax reform” in his
recent special session call becomes all the more apparent when another example surfaced of Louisiana’s subpar fiscal policy.
In the days prior to the session’s launch next week, the state announced Gameloft would close its New Orleans office, reneging on a deal to bring more jobs to the state. This meant it gave away nearly a million dollars over the past seven years to the gaming firm under the Digital Interactive Media and Software Tax Credit, or almost $25,000 per job created. The total amount actually comes close to $2 million, but the state plans on clawing back over half.
Today is infrastructure day, again. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, whose flight was canceled yesterday, managed to make it up to the White House to participate in the discussion with President Donald Trump who revealed his plan.
Ready or not, the Louisiana spring special session is coming to a Capitol near you.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will call another special session for the Louisiana legislature, something he said he was not going to do unless there was an agreement between the Republican and Democratic parties.
By Stephen Winham, guest columnist
Publisher on LouisianaVoice.com
Caveat: I worked closely with Buddy Roemer as state budget director. I have only the barest of acquaintances with John Bel Edwards. For this reason, I must question how fair my comparison of the two can be. I admit I am disappointed in John Bel Edwards’ performance as governor to date and have admired Roemer’s efforts even more with the passage of time.
Today, the Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jeff Landry against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer involving the Intercoastal Waterway servitude:
“The Attorney General did not consult with the Governor or the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on his lawsuit. It’s unfortunate that the agency charged with developing strategies for dealing with coastal wetlands was not consulted at all. While coastal restoration is a top priority of Gov. Edwards, as evidenced by the significant work we have done over the last two years to expedite projects, we will review the lawsuit once the language is provided to us and determine the best path forward for the state.”
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.
The 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?
Winter 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.