There’s hardly any other way to interpret a press release issued Thursday in which the House Republican Delegation announces its endorsement of a handful of bills that are clearly aimed at countering Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sleight-of-hand budgeting gimmicks.
Six bills endorsed by the delegation, which represents 58 state representatives of the red complexion in the lower chamber, are aimed squarely at Jindal’s notorious habit of including one-time sources of revenue for recurring expenses, his reliance on revenue contingencies (which have led in part to disastrous cuts to health care and higher education in recent years) and his inclination to privatize state functions.
Most of the bills have dozens of co-authors, suggesting that they will have a good chance of passage in the session and, perhaps most important, two of the bills are aimed at fast-tracking appropriations legislation so such bills receive final consideration a couple of weeks before the session ends, thus getting them to Jindal’s desk for his signature and giving state lawmakers time during the session for possible veto-override votes.
Here are the bills endorsed by the House Republican Delegation, per the press release issued today:
HR1 – Rep. Mike Danahay (D – Sulphur), with forty-two (42) co-authors is a proposed House Rule that reforms the timing of the process for addressing the Appropriations Bill, moving final consideration to about two weeks earlier in the legislative session.
HB240 – Rep. Kenny Havard (R – Jackson) strengthens review of privatization measures by state agencies.
HB434 – Rep. Jay Morris (R – Monroe), with thirty-eight (38) co-authors reforms the budget process when the proposed Executive Budget contains reductions in funding to healthcare and higher education.
HB435 – Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R – Shreveport), with thirty-four (34) co-authors establishes that only funds certified by the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) as non-recurring can be appropriated in HB1.
HB436 – Rep. Ray Garofalo (R -- Chalmette), with forty (40) co-authors reforms the time periods for notifications and consideration of the Appropriations Bill in the House and Senate, and moves final consideration about two weeks earlier in the session.
HB437 – Rep. Lance Harris (R – Alexandria), with thirty-four (34) co-authors reforms the process by which the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) recognizes revenue that can be appropriated and further defines whether revenues are considered recurring or non-recurring.
HB620 – Rep. Gene Reynolds (D – Minden), reforms the process for the duties and responsibilities of the Legislative Auditor and the Revenue Estimating Conference in determining whether the proposed Executive Budget reduces funding for higher education and healthcare; includes funds that are non-recurring; or includes funds in excess of the Official Revenue Forecast.