Politics

Tax Overhaul
6:20 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Revenue Neutral Tax Overhaul a Tall Order

Gov. Jindal has promised that his proposal to eliminate the state income tax will be “revenue neutral to avoid budget cuts. 
 


Bayou Corne Sinkhole
6:59 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Jindal Ducks Questions on Sinkhole Visit

Gov. Jindal didn't say he'd go to the sink hole, but didn't say he won't go.
Credit Frank Barnett, WRKF News

 Gov. Bobby Jindal evaded directly answering questions about whether he'll visit the site of a massive sinkhole that has swallowed nine acres of land in swampy Assumption Parish at an unrelated press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Some residents of Bayou Corne have been under a mandatory evacuation since August. They’ve publicly criticized the governor for having never traveled to see the sinkhole or speak with the families, according to the Associated Press.

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Tax Reforms
10:05 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Jindal Agrees to Tax Plan Due Date

Representative Chuck Kleckley was picked by Governor Jindal to become Speaker of the House in 2011, but lately, they've been butting heads.
Credit Louisiana House of Representatives

 Governor Jindal’s administration has agreed to finish and release its proposal to overhaul the state’s tax system by the end of next week. In a reversal of the usual power-dynamic, Jindal is now yielding to pressure from legislators.

Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, who was hand-picked by the governor sent Jindal an open letter yesterday evening pressing for the release of details of his tax overhaul. He asked that the plan be released to legislators by March 15 so that committees could properly debate it before session starts.

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FY14 Budget
5:28 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Fact Check: Completing Nichols' Numbers

On the Jim Engster Show Thursday morning, Division of Administration Commissioner Kristy Nichols relied on talking points that have been repeated by officials in the Jindal administration. 

The Commissioner has cherry-picked her facts.

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State Pensions
5:44 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Cash Balance Plan Could Tiptoe Back to Lawmakers

Chairman of the House Retirement Committee, Representative Kevin Pearson, brought forth the Jindal-backed cash balance plan last session.
Credit Louisiana Legislature

Representative Kevin Pearson, chairman of the House Retirement Committee, has prepared a bill that he hopes will improve the cash balance plan – despite that the plan is the subject of ongoing litigation. The plan was overturned in court because it didn’t get a two-thirds vote in the legislature. 

If the State Supreme Court does uphold the decision, the bill could be used as a safety-net, and the cash balance plan could be brought before the legislature a second time.


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Tax Reforms
4:28 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Tax Reform Risks Local Services, Tax Elections

Do you pay your neighbor's son to mow your lawn? Under Gov. Jindal's tax plan, he may legally have to add a sales tax to his total. -But that's only if that service is approved to be taxed by the parish you live in, according to the state constitution.
Credit flickr.com/idiolector/

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are voicing their skepticism of Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax overhauls. The forum this morning: an annual pre-session briefing hosted by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Jim Patterson of LABI kicked off the presentation with what he’s heard from legislators about their private talks with Governor regarding his still unreleased tax overhauls. "[Gov. Jindal] does want to conform the local sales tax base to the state tax base," Patterson said. "This will help local governments to absorb what are going to be some relegation of services by the state to them.


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State Budget 2013
3:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Fiscal Hawks to Pick at Budget

The group of legislators that routinely opposes Governor Bobby Jindal's use of one-time money in his proposed budgets met over the weekend, and may soon have an alternate way to fund some of higher education's budget. 

Last year, the fiscal hawks proposed over $160 million of cuts to lower priority areas of the budget. Representative Kirk Talbot, a leader of the group, says those weren’t considered until the mid-year shortfall. They’ll try again this year.


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State Budget 2013
2:06 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Dept. of Health and Hospitals Proposed Budget Depends on Contingencies

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed $24.7 billion state budget for the next fiscal year seemingly leaves the state Department of Health and Hospitals relatively unscathed.

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Politics
5:26 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Jindal Budget Questioned by Ally

A group of thirty legislators have vocally opposed use of "one-time funds" in Jindal's budget. Now opposition is coming from legislators that have been closer to the governor.

 Governor Bobby Jindal wants to utilize one-time funds to keep the state afloat. Jindal's proposed budget was unveiled Friday to the Legislature's Joint Committee on the Budget.

The Governor's budget it $24.7 billion in size. One-time funds make up only $424 million of it – but last year, the budget’s use of one-time funds was smaller than that, and those funds not coming through were partially to blame for mid-year budget cuts.


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Tax Reform
7:25 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Jindal Plans Media Campaign For Tax Swap Proposal, But Why Now?

Governor Bobby Jindal wants to eliminate the state income tax and make up for the lost revenue by increasing state sales taxes. He is seeking money to run a media campaign in support of his proposal.

But Louisianians are not likely to be asked to vote on the tax reforms until late 2014. So why lobby support from the general public now?  

WRKF’s Ashley Westerman put that question to LSU professor and director of the Manship School’s Public Policy Research Lab Kirby Goidel.


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