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Reports highlight needed LA policy reforms

When Louisiana’s legislators start filing bills for the 2019 regular session, those interested in fiscal reform would do well to follow a three-part roadmap laid out by the Pelican Institute.

Its latest study reviews the state’s means of generating revenue. This follows papers dealing with intergovernmental relations and budgeting. Although a complete overhaul along the lines of these efforts would require amending the Constitution, and frankly in ways unlikely to gather the necessary legislative support to present these to voters (which is why the group favors a constitutional convention to carry it all out), statutory changes it suggests would make for improvement.

The tax reform it argues for would produce a flattened, broadened, and largely revenue-neutral code when compared to two different baselines. For individuals, establishing a flat income tax rate of four percent while raising the standard deduction and wiping out some big-ticket exemptions, such as for federal taxes paid and excess itemized deductions, as well as other smaller ones would keep revenues stable while actually shifting more burden onto a small number of higher-income filers. This scenario it offers as a fallback to adjusting deductions further to roll back tax increases made last year.


Landry going two for three helps Louisianans

As opposed to this week, Louisiana Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry had a good last week, with his office winning two cases that protect Louisianans.

Firstly, on behalf of the state Landry prevailed with a challenge to a law forbidding people aged 18 through 20 to dance nearly nude in places licensed to serve booze. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier originally had struck down the law in 2017, which lawmakers had passed to protect younger individuals from sex trafficking. Field research noted that stripping put them at elevated risk to this hazard.

Barbier ruled essentially that the state’s simple changes in law (to passages concerning outlets serving regular content alcoholic beverages, and the same wording in the section detailing service of low-content booze) were “overbroad,” or that the incidental restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms be no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest. In particular, he noted spillover effects to other venues of expression, and recommended small changes to the law to eliminate what he saw as a problem.


Resolution aids speech, community wishes

All’s well that ends well for both drag queens and communities wishing to use government to promote healthy lifestyles for children.

Last year, controversy arose when the Lafayette Public Library scheduled a “Drag Queen Story Time.” Males dressed in drag would read to children as part of a program put on by the library.

When the advertising started, it became abundantly clear that the community didn’t want a government agency backing such an event. Run by board members appointed by local government officials, responding to constituents they pressured the library into revoking the invitation to perform at the main branch, which library officials described as unable to accommodate the anticipated crowd. A subsequent attempt to relocate it to occur on the scheduled date at a nearby community college failed when the institution said it could not guarantee adequate security.


Race hustling degrades historical lesson

It’s a great idea. Too bad race hustlers look set to ruin it.

One of the original child integrators of New Orleans public schools, Leona Tate, is drumming up support to memorialize and educate about that process. She has a plan, through her Leona Tate Foundation for Change, to refurbish the abandoned McDonogh 19 school that she helped to integrate into a museum about the history surrounding that which also will have senior citizen housing and a facility for a local group to conduct workshops.

Therein lies the problem. That group teaming up with Tate’s foundation to bring McDonogh 19 back into new service, termed the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, propagates the myth of “institutional racism,” or that all sectors of society – government, economic, cultural, etc. – have ingrained racism that favors the numerical majority with a “white privilege.”