Julie Stokes

Sue Lincoln

“The best thing you can do for a stable funding for government is to have a well-balanced stool,” says state Representative Julie Stokes, who is also a certified public accountant.

But when your budget – your stool -- doesn’t balance, what do you do?

legis.la.gov

“We are a body that’s in complete chaos. The House doesn’t have leadership,” says Baton Rouge Representative Ted James.

A Democrat, James has used his Friday, Saturday  and Sunday away from the Capitol to talk with other members about making a change in House leadership: in particular, “The Speaker, the Chairman of Appropriations.”


Sue LIncoln

Nearly all of us are familiar with the image from “The Wizard of Oz” that accompanies the line, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Yet for the past several days, House Republicans have been publicly pulling the curtain back on the dysfunctional aspects of this session.


The full House had a lot on the docket Wednesday: capital outlay, the gasoline tax, and more than a dozen tax reform bills. But little of it went as planned.


Rex Fortenberry

The House Civil Law Committee began working through proposed constitutional amendments Monday.

“Right now there are 50 constitutional amendments out there,” staff attorney Robert Singletary advised the members.

They weren’t debating the content of the amendments, just okaying the ballot language, in case any of those measures make it through the legislative process.

Tax philosophies seem to be nearly as numerous as tax reform bills filed this session. As the House Ways and Means Committee took testimony on 20 measures dealing with corporate taxes Wednesday, those philosophies were on display.


media commons

While we were busy with the special session, three state legislators announced for the Treasurer’s race this fall.


Sean Gardner

“This is – from my standpoint – one of the worst cases of Monday morning quarterbacking that I’ve ever seen,” former state Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham said Thursday.

Barham, who served as DWF Secretary throughout the Jindal administration, was on the defensive, responding to a legislative audit questioning several million dollars of the agency’s spending, primarily in the seafood testing program following the BP oil spill.


Sue Lincoln

“The best thing you can do for a stable funding for government is to have a well-balanced stool.”

But when your budget – your stool -- doesn’t balance, what do you do? 


Feeding the Tax Base

Jan 10, 2017

When the Sales Tax Streamlining Commission met Monday, they considered doing away with the state sales tax exemption on food purchased for home consumption.

“This would be a revenue neutral thing,” commission chair Julie Stokes told the group. “Food would be fully taxed, and the rate on everything would be able to come down a half of a penny.”

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