After the blow back from the abbreviated debate on education reform in 2012, Representative Joel Robideaux said discussions on the Governor's initiatives got underway sooner this year. “Some may say that wasn’t a good way to go," Robideaux told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday, "because we’ve taken two months of opposition, but from a legislative standpoint, I think it’s great because we’ve had two months of debate we wouldn’t have otherwise been afforded.”
More stakeholders are turning their noses up at the governor’s plan to eliminate income and franchise taxes in favor of raising and broadening the sales tax.
House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards said the plan is a play from a national conservative think tank that will look good to voters in other states, if the governor decides to run for national office. His caucus thinks it will hurt low- and middle-income families, as well as small business, like those in the tourism industry.
The Louisiana Association for Business and Industry released a statement saying it will oppose any change to the system that raises tax on businesses.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has been instructed to stay quiet about the specifics of the cancelation of a nearly $200 million Medicaid contract.
That’s what State Inspector General Stephen Street told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday before a hearing on the Department of Health and Hospital’s budget for the next fiscal year got underway.
Under the Governor's proposed tax reforms low-income filers will be eligible for a rebate and some business incentive programs will see changes. The state House Ways and Means Committee met again Tuesday to discuss details on these elements of the proposal.
The Governor wants to eliminate the personal income tax and the corporate income and franchise taxes. Under the proposal, the sales tax will grow to make up that revenue.
Officials from the Department of Health and Hospitals were grilled Tuesday morning by the Appropriations Committee on how they plan to save money in the next fiscal year.
Among other cost-saving measures, the department’s $8.9 billion proposed budget calls for turning over a number of existing Medicaid services to private entities, and investing more in the Bayou Health reforms. Savings also hinge on the privatization of the LSU charity hospitals, although no official agreements have been made yet.
Remember in high school when math teachers wouldn’t give full credit for answers that weren’t supported with all the work that showed how a student arrived to that answer?
On Friday, a group of 250 clergymen and women challenged the work behind the math used by the Jindal administration to calculate the tax burden on individuals under the governor’s new tax swap plan.
The governor wants to eliminate the personal income tax, the corporate income tax and the corporate franchise tax. He’d replace that lost revenue by raising the sales tax to 5.88 percent, applying the sales tax to more services and tinkering with a few other taxes and exemptions. Jindal says the plan will not amount to a tax hike for citizens or a loss in revenue for the state, but that it will be revenue neutral.
After hearing from department heads and state higher-ups, State Rep. John Schroder wants to hear from state employees on how to get Louisiana’s fiscal house in order.
The House Appropriations Committee has been methodically sifting through Gov. Jindal’s 2013-2014 budget since March 12th and will continue doing so in the weeks to come. As the committee continues going down the department checklist, Schroder now wants the involvement and input from actual state employees.