The Legislature is poised to once and for all wash it hands of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s call to eliminate the state’s personal and corporate income taxes. Jindal had already abandoned an ambitious plan to eliminate the income taxes and replace the lost revenue with a sharp spike in the state sales tax, telling state lawmakers at the commencement of the session that although he was abandoning the so-called “tax swap,” he still wanted the Legislature the eliminate the income taxes and (miraculously) figure out how to offset the loss in revenue.
But on Monday, state Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, announced that Jindal’s fantasy will probably not rise to the level of reality. Robideaux is the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee — the launch pad, more or less, for any such revisions to the Louisiana tax code to take flight. In a statement released Monday, Robideaux says he will indefinitely defer any income tax repeal bills, although he does leave the door open for individual lawmakers to have such bills heard before the committee:
Over the last several months we have all grappled with the issues involved when considering the repeal of the income tax – either immediately, or over time.
I personally want to thank the Governor for opening up debate on this issue. It is my hope that the work done these past few months can serve as the foundation for an ongoing debate on how to best reform our state’s tax structure.
Since the Governor’s address to the legislature last week, I have spoken with numerous members of the House including legislative leaders. I have talked at length with Speaker Kleckley about our shared concerns and how to best resolve this matter.
I have also reviewed the analysis of the policy community – CABL, PAR and LABI.
As a result, my preference is that we should indefinitely defer consideration of these bills. This is a difficult, but I believe, necessary action.
That being said, I respect the legislative process, and since I’ve scheduled the bills for a hearing, if a member wants their bill heard, I will honor that request.
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DEC 11 It's the holiday season, and that means you can count on seeing some pretty crazy stuff going down at the Wal-Mart, but this story out of Marshall, Texas takes the cake. A man went in and attacked a couple of people with a hatchet. Who stopped him? A customer who started launching soup cans at him -- and connected with his noggin. The story tells us that while some folk were injured, everyone's been released from the hospital.
DEC 11 Blogger Tom Aswell joins the ranks of those looking into the "Fund for Louisiana's Future," which of course is not really aimed at improving our future. So far, it seems aimed at getting Louisiana to remove its $100,000 cap on campaign contributions, he tells us. Also, it is overseen by the same guy who tried to give us President Mitt Romney -- and he seems bent on picking our next governor.
DEC 11 Here's a post on NOLA Defender from the chef de cuisine at Delmonico's about gumbo. Chef Anthony Scanio shares childhood food memories that aren't quite a warm and fuzzy cliche -- but they certainly sound authentic. His personal story isn't just about food, it's a true New Orleans boy's upbringing. It's a cool story, and it ends with recipes for seafood gumbo and red beans.
DEC 11 Blogger Lou Gehrig Burnett writes here on Bayou Buzz about GOP efforts to mount a candidate against Sen. Mary Landrieu -- "a" being the operative word. So far, Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness are both in the race, and as long as the ultra-conservative Maness remains he poses a threat to the Republicans' hopes to unseat Mary. There's also a bit on what's up in Texas -- where Gov. Rick Perry's rejection of Medicaid money is causing other lawmakers some trouble.
DEC 11 Qualifying for New Orleans municipal races opens today, and Gambit's Clancy DuBos is most interested in people running against Sheriff Marlin Gusman, a frequent topic of Clancy's posts -- and a lot of other media posts as well. So far, the most interesting candidate expected to qualify is former sheriff Charles Foti. But Gusman's biggest enemy may be himself, given his 33 percent approval rating.
DEC 11 It may be the season of brotherly love, but John Maginnis is not falling for David Vitter's Christmas story. In this post, he poo-poos the very idea that Vitter and his family will spend the holidays in prayerful reflection so that they can decide if the Senator will run for governor. He also gives some predictions on what could happen if Vitter did get elected, throwing in a cautionary reference to the big ole egg laid by the GOP up in North Louisiana's recent Congressional race.
DEC 11 Well, knock us over with a rainbow-colored feather. The Shreveport City Council passed an ordinance granting equal protection to LGBT folks, this KSLA story reports. It basically forbids discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. According to the story, city workers already have had that protection, since 2009.
DEC 11 That nice lady over in Denham Springs must still be mad at her neighbors for stealing her dog, because she's back up on her roof, making a big ole "one finger salute" in Christmas lights. This story in the Advocate even gives us a picture of the process underway, in case you are experiencing a similar situation and would like some finger-display-creation tips.
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