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Bill challenging sanctuary also challenges Edwards

As Louisiana’s majoritarian branches of government struggle within their bubble in dealing with budgetary deficits, out in the larger world other things still happen that require their attention, and one flare-up may portend a coming struggle in the next state elections.

Encouraged by the Pres. Barack Obama Administration that wishes to leave no illegal alien behind, New Orleans has joined Orleans Parish in taking on the mantle as a “sanctuary city” – meaning that its public safety forces will make no effort to facilitate the enforcement of national immigration laws. Indeed, the city bans the police department from even trying to accomplish this.

As previously noted, federal law requires this cooperation but the Obama Administration has signaled it will turn a blind eye toward that. Without this oversight, the state can’t do much at present to ensure this necessary working together except possibly to withhold policing grant money that does not amount to much. Even an executive order doing this from Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards might not legally get the job done – assuming he would do something like that, which seems doubtful given his party’s position on this issue.


House must prevent institutionalization of big govt

The attempt to normalize Louisiana’s higher rate of spending into permanency and taxation to support it continued with Senate action in the Legislature’s special session, begging for a counter-reaction to stop this unsavory development.

HB 62 by state Rep. Katrina Jackson in normal times would be regarded as a detestable standalone tax increase. But with a budgetary gap in the neighborhood of $900 million needing closing prior to the end of June, these abnormal times sanitize it for swallowing. Understand that it only exacerbates the problem of state government overspending in Louisiana, as the state ranks 18th highest among them in that per capita spending (using estimated 2015 expenditures)

Ideally, Louisiana would adjust down its level of spending, as well as allocate revenues so that they more likely get to priority areas, in response to stagnant revenues and escalating expenditures as a means to right-size bloated government. The short term makes this impractical for the remainder of the fiscal year, but entirely realistic for the longer term. Thus, any tax hikes now proposed must last as brief a time as possible – apparently through Jun. 30, 2018 given the need to use the funds for recurring expenses while adhering to statute and the Constitution.


Electoral lesson proves fleeting for LA Democrats

It’s official: Louisiana Democrats have cracked up, drawing exactly the wrong lessons from last fall’s unforeseen victory of Gov. John Bel Edwards that make the most likely outcome of this fall’s U.S. Senate contest electing the Republican they least desire.

With north Louisiana’s Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell joining his fellow partisan Democrat Caroline Fayard in the contest, that puts two committed and independently wealthy liberal Democrats into the field. Republicans Reps. Charles Boustany and John Fleming, former Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, Treasurer John Kennedy, and former Senate candidate Rob Maness also have taken the plunge.

It also highlights a battle between different wings of the party demonstrating some delusion among its elites. Fayard represents the extremist left that controls the state party, while Campbell comes from the hard left wing that occupies the Governor’s mansion. They differ on social issues with the extremists further away from the center.


Hypocritical LA Democrats want tax to grow govt

Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration and Democrats in the Louisiana Senate seem so desperate to grow government that they have resorted hypocrisy, if not outright fibbing, about the temporal length of a tax for the use of its proceeds for operating expenses of government – adding to the lack of logic behind justification of their preferred time span.

Last week, the House passed HB 62 by state Rep. Katrina Jackson that would raise the sales tax a cent for the next 18 months. This limit displeased Edwards, who, despite saying the increase should serve as a “bridge” until the state reaches more secure revenue-raising footing, behind the scenes wants to keep as much tax revenue rolling in as possible to support larger government and buying time to empower constituencies to pressure policy-makers into keeping the higher spending levels. His Administration therefore said it should last five years – conveniently removing the necessity of a vote to retain higher taxation levels prior to an anticipated reelection bid by him.

The Senate’s Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, with supporting testimony from the Administration, went along with that, and produced a fig leaf for cover: R.S. 39:2(27), which deserves full rendering: “’Nonrecurring revenue’ means revenue received by the state from a source identified by the Revenue Estimating Conference as being of a nonrecurring nature. ‘Nonrecurring revenue’ does not include revenues received by the state from any source which has been available for the preceding two fiscal years or which will be available for the succeeding two fiscal years.”