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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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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