Sue Lincoln

Reporter

Sue Lincoln is a veteran reporter in the political arena. Her radio experience began in the early ’80s, in “the other L-A” — Los Angeles.

Since her transplantation to Louisiana 25 years ago, she has covered the state, the capital, and its colorful cast of characters for Louisiana Radio Network, LPB and the Southern Education Desk.

Now she’s focusing her experience and expertise on producing WRKF’s Capitol Access.

Ways to Connect

S. Lincoln

A bill heard in the House Municipal & Cultural Affairs committee Thursday brought a welcome respite from the simmering angst of the state budget crisis. It names the Gulf Fritillary as the official state butterfly.

“Louisiana has 45 state symbols, ranging from the state dog* to the state donut**,” Monroe Representative Jay Morris explained to the committee. “We don’t have a state butterfly at this time, and all of our neighboring states do have one.”

Sue Lincoln

The Revenue Estimating Conference met Wednesday, and we finally have updated figures on the status of the state budget. For the current fiscal year, there’s still a deficit.

“You’re about at 66-million,” House Fiscal Officer Patrick Goldsmith told the panel.

Governor John Bel Edwards had said Monday he thought the estimated deficit would come in lower, between $30-million and $60-million.

However, the projected deficit for FY 17, which starts July 1, 2016, is lower than expected.

Sue Lincoln

There are more than 1200 bills filed for the regular legislative session which starts today, but the one of greatest concern is undoubtedly House Bill 1 – the budget.

“We have to fashion a budget, with the revenue that’s available, that’s going to be $800-million short,” Governor John Bel Edwards said, following the close of the special session last Wednesday.

Sue Lincoln

There were sighs of relief as the special session ended promptly at 6:00 Wednesday night.

“We leave here tonight being able to defend what we’ve done, and being able to explain to the people of Louisiana that we did what we were asked here to do,” House Speaker Taylor Barras told the lower chamber.

Senate President John Alario, though, sighed with frustration at the end.

“I want to apologize to you for what happened here tonight,” a tearful Alario told the upper chamber. “That’s not the way to conduct the people’s business.”

Sue Lincoln

We heard it repeatedly throughout the special session:

“I can assure you, nobody wants to raise revenue. Nobody wants to raise taxes.”

“No one wants higher taxes.”

“I’ve heard the speeches: ‘I’m not voting for any new taxes’.”

“Nobody wants to see their taxes increase.”

Most times those statements were followed by the word, “but”.

The new 2016 Louisiana Survey, done by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab shows that lawmakers should have been listening to what came after the word “but”.

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