Borrowing To Pay The Bills

When state Treasurer John Kennedy addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, much of his speech focused on his usual litany. “You’ve heard me talk about this before,” he said. “We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.” He also gave his take on the trio of legislative sessions just ended. “Governor Edwards won these last 3 sessions,” Kennedy observed. “The governor beat ‘em like a sugar mill mule. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Louisiana taxpayer lost.”
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How will Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Texas case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt affect Louisiana’s similar law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges?

When state Treasurer John Kennedy addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday,  much of his speech focused on his usual litany.

“You’ve heard me talk about this before,” he said. “We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”

He also gave his take on the trio of legislative sessions just ended.

“Governor Edwards won these last 3 sessions,” Kennedy observed. “The governor beat ‘em like a sugar mill mule. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Louisiana taxpayer lost.”

Sue Lincoln

When the second special session ended late Thursday night, the Louisiana Republican Party immediately sent out a press release declaring “victory”, and calling Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards “defeated”.

Of course, that’s not how he sees it.

“I don’t believe that we have failed,” the Governor said. “I would question some of their motives, rather than my leadership.”

Sue Lincoln

  Governor John Bel Edwards tried to put a good face on it.

“I am extremely pleased with where we are, considering where we started. And while we may have come up short in a few ways, we made difficult choices and we made tremendous progress,” the Governor said, during a press conference a few minutes after the session’s close.

Yet when lawmakers adjourned the 2nd special session, they were still $350-million short of what was needed for the budget that begins July first, and the chasm between the House and Senate had widened.

“At this point, we do not have the luxury of amending this bill,” Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs chairman J.P. Morrell told the Senate, so on this final day of the special session, House Bill 50 was considered without an expected amendment that could have raised another $88-million.

“House Bill 50 simply changes the way the capital gains tax is able to be refunded,” Jennings Senator Blade Morris explained.

Last Day, Last Chance

Jun 23, 2016

This is the final day of the second special session, and it must end by midnight tonight.

“We’re going to ask you to come in for 9 a.m.; be prepared to stay the day,” Senate President John Alario warned the upper chamber last evening. “More than likely we’ll be in and out with some long recesses in between.”


Wikimedia Commons

The Senate Finance committee met Wednesday to amend the supplemental appropriations bill, which allocates the money raised during this special session.  

The session must end no later than midnight Thursday.  At this point, says Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur (D-Ville Platte), $258 million of additional revenue has been found.  


Being Singled Out?

Jun 22, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

The House and Governmental Affairs committee met Tuesday to discuss House Resolution 4 by Representative Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City), which would direct the Louisiana State Law Institute to make particular meetings open to the public. 


Explaining The Thinking

Jun 21, 2016

Despite everything we’ve heard from the Edwards’ administration about the depth of Louisiana’s budget shortages, it’s quite clear now: the House leadership is done considering any more revenue-raising measures.

“We raised a couple hundred million dollars, so there’s enough money to put towards TOPS; there’s also enough money to put toward the private-public partnerships for the hospitals. So it’s not all gloom and doom.”

Squabbling Over Crumbs

Jun 21, 2016
S. Lincoln

After the House approved cuts freeing up another $70-million for the upcoming budget Monday, they then squabbled over where to spend it – on TOPS, or on health care.

Prairieville Rep. Tony Bacala argued to put the money toward TOPS.

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