Jeffrey D. Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University Shreveport. If you're an elected official, political operative or anyone else upset at his views, don't go bothering LSUS or LSU System officials about that because these are his own views solely.
This publishes Sunday through Thursday with the exception of 7 holidays. Also check out his Louisiana Legislature Log especially during legislative sessions (in "Louisiana Politics Blog Roll" below).
The best alternative for Louisiana to deal with a looming
budgetary shortfall lies in continuing to do the same thing.
Legislators began meeting earlier this week in the
hopes of erasing a potential fiscal year 2019 spending plan deficit. Current
spending levels less temporary taxes rolling off on Jun. 30 equals nearly a
A number of proposals have surfaced to address
this, guided by the parameters of the special session call issued by Democrat
Gov. John Bel Edwards.
But the Republican-controlled Legislature, especially the House of
Representatives, wisely seems unlikely to approve his first choice, increases
on marginal income tax rates geared towards higher individual earners and corporations.
Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’
address at the start of the Louisiana Legislature’s special session yesterday
confirmed one thing: he’s in trouble, he knows it, and now so do we.
Edwards delivered a speech
imploring that he and the legislative branch’s Republican leadership – although
really pitched at the House of Representatives – to work together, yet was one relentlessly
partisan and tone-deaf to real world data and experience. It strung together
numerous talking points that don’t stand up to the glare of reality. Such as:
that  shortfall by taking a balanced approach of revenue, strategic
spending cuts, significant savings, and economic growth …. [S]ome want to argue
that these weren’t real [spending] cuts.
As lawmakers convene for a special session that
could last almost two weeks, five groups have coalesced over dealing with an
impending deficit for next fiscal year’s budget. The expiration of temporary
taxes, most prominently a one cent levy on sales, at the end of this fiscal
year means current spending patterns exceed expected existing revenues by
almost $1 billion.
A small group of Republicans don’t want to see any
restoration of temporary taxes, much less new permanent ones, and hope a
combination of efficiencies and user fees, plus revenue boosts from federal tax
changes, make up the difference. Their opposite number of Democrats, also few,
want to see only permanent income tax increases focused on corporations and on those
individuals above lower-income status.