The message of the Better Choices for a Better Louisiana campaign seems to be sinking in. Speaker of the House Jim Tucker is acknowledging that the $7.1 billion the state surrenders in the form of various tax breaks will be looked at in the upcoming legislative session.
According to this story by Advocate reporter Marsha Shuler, Tucker told the Louisiana Hospital Association that the state grants nearly as much in various exemptions as is actually collected for the general fund.
Unless the list of more than 440 exemptions is put into play, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to fill the expected $1.6 billion budget hole this spring.
That's old news to followers of the Better Choices campaign - it was last November 18 when the coalition held its press conference on the capitol steps. At that time, the coalition asked lawmakers to declare a moratorium on new tax exemptions and to take a close look at existing loopholes.
A lot more information about Better Choices is available. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers has set up a Better Choices for a Better Louisiana resource page, and the coalition has established its own Web site.