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.
For the second year in a row, Louisiana has ranked last in the U.S. News and World Report state ranking. It is a poor ranking that is very well deserved.
The study focused on 77 different areas in eight major categories, such as crime. Unfortunately, in this area, Louisiana does not compare very favorably. Our state is a very violent one with the highest incarceration rate in the nation. Last year, a criminal justice reform package was signed by Governor John Bel Edwards. The ostensible reason for the legislation was to reduce the incarceration rate. Thus, 1900 “non-violent” offenders were released in November of 2017. Not surprisingly in the span of a few weeks, 76 of these prisoners were arrested again. Their victims would not have been targeted if these criminals were kept in prison.
We know there is a swamp in Washington DC that President Trump promised to drain although some might argue that the only things that have changed are the critters that habituating it. But, other than our Bayous, does the State Capitol in Baton Rouge own its own swamps too?
Is Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ready to be a hero? Is he willing and ready to take the reins, be a leader, pull a “Nixon goes to China” and get the Louisiana budget on a secure and stable process?
These are the basic thrusts of the comments articulated by Rob Maness earlier this morning as he discussed with me, the Louisiana legislative session via Facebook and Twitter Live.
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.
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.
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.