statutory dedications

Mark Carroll

It’s an oft-repeated theory among state lawmakers: “Our hands are tied because we have dedicated funds,” and “There’s money in stat deds. So isn’t that money just sort of sitting around?”

Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt is a proponent of that theory, and she ‘s heading a task force looking at eliminating many statutory dedications. But, as she found out during the group’s initial meeting – it don’t come easy.


Budget 101: Outgo

Jul 4, 2017
courtesy: Tax Structure Task Force

Yesterday we looked at state income, as part of Budget 101. Today we’ll look at the outgo.

Where does Louisiana spend its $9-billion of State General Fund revenue?  Let’s begin with what are known as “non-discretionary” items.


The Art of the Barter

Feb 22, 2017
shutterstock

Both the full House and Senate convened yesterday afternoon, but their business was brief, and more procedural than substantive.


Alyssa Eilers

After passing two budget cutting bills on to the House floor Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee spent much of its meeting time today arguing a measure that was shot down in the Senate last year.

“Had we pulled the trigger on this last year, we would be $74,558,000 to the good, that we would not be looking for today,” House Speaker Taylor Barras said of his resolution.

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.”

Media Commons

When discussing Louisiana’s budget troubles, the blame is often laid on statutory dedications.

“We have $400-million of taxpayer money tied up in statutory dedications. We need to unlock that money,” Treasurer John Kennedy frequently criticizes.

Four House members -- Chris Broadwater, Rick Edmonds, Kirk Talbot and Jay Morris – all Republicans – decided to try it.


State Treasurer John Kennedy says when it comes to fixing the state budget, the legislature is doing it all wrong.

“Your goal ought not to be, ‘We need to get some more cash in this place.’ Your goal really ought to be, ‘Let’s make a tax system that looks like somebody designed it on purpose’,” Kennedy told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

Lawmakers have advanced bills for temporary fixes, like suspending sales tax holidays, limiting film tax credits, and taking 20% off the top of the refundable business inventory tax credit. Kennedy said he’s disturbed by the lack of an organized plan to actually cure the state’s fiscal problems long-term.