Is medical marijuana the next Louisiana boondoggle? The current Louisiana legislature seems bent on pushing through extended legislation that enlarges the number of medical conditions marijuana is supposed to treat. And even though the use of marijuana for any purpose, medical or recreational, is specifically prohibited under federal law, the legislature seems hell-bent on opening up the floodgates for any number of medical conditions.
The 2018 vintage of the Louisiana legislature has been in session now since February 19 2018. Initially, it met in an extraordinary fiscal session called by Governor John Bel Edwards to grapple with the then-one billion dollar budget shortfall. That two week endeavor ended in failure. Essentially nothing was passed.
Legislators being in session for essentially the first half of each year for the past series of springs has become a regular occurence, primarily due to major budgetary issues. The individual lawmakers are tired. Nerves are frayed. The everyday grind focuses upon minutia. They are underpaid. And perhaps worse of all, nothing seems to be getting done. Bills are getting killed.
Refreshed embarrassment has come the way of Louisiana’s Republican Sec. of State Tom Schedler, and perhaps it’s more appropriate that he be ushered out the door rather than hoping he’ll do it himself anytime soon.
Christopher Tidmore essentially calls it a game of legislative chicken. Which is what the House, the Senate and the Governor appear to be playing this Louisiana legislative session with the budget. In a recent interview with the political columnist for the Louisiana Weekly and radio talk show host, Tidmore and with JMC Polling and Analytics, John Couvillon, the lawmakers must somehow fill a still-gaping hole in which House Republicans have basically taken taxes off the table after passing a budget protecting the popular TOPS program while shortchanging the health care and higher education vital services.
We're all familiar with "Build it, They will come"
That's exactly what New Orleans and Louisiana did to attract the New Orleans Saints and later the New Orleans Pelicans.
But, what if? What if we, the State of Louisiana, stopped funding our beloved professional football and basketball teams's existence in these parts, in what some might call, pro sports "pay to play"?
Familiar with "Fund us, or we will go"?
The Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) has released the following statement in relationship to the Louisiana House of Representatives, led by Republicans, passing a budget that makes major cuts to Louisiana higher education and healthcare. The budget is consistent with the party's philosophy to spend no more than is anticipated and to not raise taxes. Here is the statement:
Democrats and those wanting to halt the prospects of drastic cuts are on a full court press. Today, email boxes are flooded by organizations to say no to the Republican Louisiana House of Representative budget for next year. Below are a selection of some of the emails:
Medicaid expansion as an economic development driver for the State of Louisiana?
Last week, Governor John Bel Edwards and others promoted a study from LSU that argued that the Obamacare program not only served the lower-income workers but also helped the Louisiana economy. I asked Jan Moller about this study pushed by the governor when Jim Brown and i interviewed him last week.
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"
Call it a Friday the 13th warning, message or omen. Louisiana legislators, who don't respect the second amendment, will face the "curse" of Louisiana gun advocates. And, it won't be pretty, politically.
Maness, former US Senate candidate and former candidate for the Louisiana legislature has that message. Those lawmakers up at the Baton Rouge capitol need to know that Louisiana gun owners are looking down legislators back and will made their voices heard on behalf of the rights of law-abiding citizens who want to preserve their rights to bear arms.
Several quick financial fixes are being discussed in the current session of the Legislature involving the expansion of gambling. Here’s an interesting thought. Why is it that Louisiana and neighboring state Mississippi are always on the bottom of every national ranking involving virtually every aspect of a state’s quality of life? Yet casino gambling is widespread throughout both states at a level not found any place else in America outside of Las Vegas.
How dee is the real hole in the Louisiana budget are we? Does the state really willing to cut governmental services without raising revenues, which is what the Speaker of the House Taylor Barras seemed to indicate yesterday, when questioned, which could prevent another revenue-raising special session?