Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coalition calls legislature on bad choices

The state is facing a $1.6 billion shortfall (raise that to $1.8 billion after lawmakers subtracted Gov. Jindal's imaginary dollars from the budget). Lawmakers are turning down every effort to raise new revenues at the same time that they advance new tax cuts.

What could make things worse in Baton Rouge? Slashing over $3 billion a year from the state's general fund, for starters.

That would be the ultimate impact of three bills making their way through the process. HB 633 and HB 634 by Rep. Hunter Greene, and SB 259 by Sen. Rob Marionneaux, would abolish all personal and corporate income taxes in the state.

That, of course, would make it impossible to provide even the most basic services to the people of the state.

Then there's House Resolution 27 by Rep. Brett Geymann, which would require a two-thirds vote of the legislature before any non-recurring funds could be used to plug budget holes.

Taken together, these pieces of legislation reveal a dangerous game of chicken underway at the capitol.

The Better Choices for a Better Louisiana coalition has called out lawmakers on what it calls "political theater" in this news release:

According to the Better Choices coalition, this radical and ill-timed
political maneuvering risks driving Louisiana’s budget over the cliff. At
a time of unprecedented state deficits, Louisiana needs a balanced approach to
resolving its fiscal problems. That includes additional sources of revenues as
well as prudent cuts in spending, spokespersons said.

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