WRKF

Louisiana state budget

Wallis Watkins / WRKF

For the second straight year, Republican lawmakers have refused to accept state economists’ forecast of expected revenue in the upcoming fiscal year, a crucial benchmark for crafting the state budget.

The partisan stand-off over the budget could also delay funding for several projects in Louisiana, including the reopening of the Algiers Ferry, coastal restoration in Plaquemines Parish and payments associated with the Harrah’s Casino contract.

In Thursday’s meeting, Representative Cameron Henry (R-Metairie), on behalf of House Speaker Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia), voted down updated forecasts presented by the Legislative Fiscal Office and pision of Administration.

The legislature is in the final days of its special session - and lawmakers are still working to finalize budget and tax bills for the coming fiscal year. Capitol Access reporter Wallis Watkins and editor Jessica Rosgaard bring you up to speed on what you may have missed this week in the state capitol.

Joining us to talk about unique ways for citizens to weigh in on ways to resolve state budget woes, we have LSU Mass Communications Professor Len Apcar, Advocate Editor Peter Kovacs, and Capitol Bureau Chief for The Advocate Mark Ballard.


EJ Ourso Business School, Louisiana State University

LSU Economist Jim Richardson heads the State Revenue Estimating Conference. Jan Moller is president of the Louisiana Budget Project. We speak with Richardson and Moller about the opening of Louisiana's 2017 Legislative Session. They will also address the feud simmering between Gov. John Bel Edwards and Garret Graves on flood recovery money coming to Louisiana.


Solar Panel Tax Credit: You're Not My Sunshine

Sep 15, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

A group of Louisiana homeowners is suing the state Department of Revenue over denial of solar tax credits.

Dawn Naquin of Theriot, Louisiana says she is "one of the people who bought solar panels with the intentions that I would be getting back a solar tax credit.”


Act Now, or Let Task Force Do Its Job?

May 3, 2016
pbs.org

 A bill requiring all tax exemptions and credits be included in the budgeting process – letting the legislature decide how much could be spent on each annually – exposed a rift within the group that’s been pushing cuts in lieu of raising revenue.

Covington Representative John Schroder says it’s time for more legislative oversight of this money.

“We don’t know how much money we’re going to have to budget, until all that gets paid first – that $8.5 billion and growing – gets paid first.”

That’s nearly half the total revenue the state takes in, and it’s spent automatically before it ever makes it into the legislative budgeting process. Schroder says he believes that violates the state constitution.

Governor-Elect Talks Budget, Higher Ed Needs

Dec 16, 2015
Wallis Watkins

Industrial leaders in the Houma-Thibodaux area heard from Governor-elect John Bel Edwards Tuesday. He began the luncheon speech by advising them the state budget crisis is not going to be easily fixed.

“The relatively easy stuff was done years ago. The low-hanging fruit’s been picked,” Edwards said.

He also warned them some of their business tax breaks could be going away.

“We may need to achieve some savings by reducing or eliminating tax expenditures that we then reallocate to higher priority items like higher education.”

Louisiana Board of Regents

The Louisiana Board of Regents, the agency responsible for allocating funds to higher education, has requested a $1.7 billion higher education budget for the next fiscal year. 


Budget Not "Enough for All People to Share"

Sep 28, 2015
Sue Lincoln

While campaign songs may be “so last century”, many of the same issues that prompted Huey Long to pen “Every Man a King” still plague Louisiana more than 80 years later. A line in the song says, “There’s enough for all people to share,” yet Louisiana’s on-going budget problems contradict that sentiment. For the men who would be king -- the candidates for governor – the state’s budget problems dwarf everything else.

“The budget is going to be the first, second and third topics for the next governor to deal with,” Louisiana Budget Project director Jan Moller says, noting last year’s budget, the current budget, and next year’s budget are all in the red.

Carville: "Our Survival is Not a Given"

Sep 23, 2015
Ken Stewart / WRKF News

WRKF’s first annual Founders’ Luncheon featured political strategist James Carville.

“Every white Democrat in south Baton Rouge is here – all 30 of you,” he quipped, to appreciative laughter from the crowd of about 600.


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