Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Erath, has been selected to serve as treasurer for a new political action committee formed by a group of self-described fiscal hawks in the Legislature. The newly formed Budget Reform PAC is led by Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, who tells The Times-Picayune the goal is to wean the state budget off the use of one-time money for recurring expenses. More than two dozen state lawmakers, all of them Republican save for one independent, have expressed an interest in joining the PAC, which comes at a cost: PAC members are being ask to chip in $1,000 to help the group bankroll a publicity campaign. The group plans to press its case for substantial budget reform during next year’s session.

One wonders if a better name for the Budget Reform PAC will turn out to be the “Stripped of Committee Assignments PAC.” The budget gimmicks the gaggle opposes have long been favored by Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose use of one-time money for recurring expenses and relying on contingencies like assumptions about increased tax revenue to make his numbers add up have riled the fiscal hawks, most notably during this year’s session. And Jindal has shown no reservations through his hand-picked floor leaders to exact revenge against lawmakers who fail to toe the governor’s line.

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