I wonder how that's gonna go?
The age-old warning “be careful what you ask for” rings true today for the new chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, state Rep. Neil Abramson, a Democratic legislator from New Orleans. Abramson’s attempted run for speaker of the House derailed the governor’s selection for speaker. Abramson was rewarded by new House Speaker Taylor Barras with the chairmanship. Now, Abramson is likely to be considered one of the most powerful men in the Capitol for the next three weeks. Let’s see if he can handle the pressure to work with the governor and the Legislature to minimize the current fiscal crisis.It's all on you, Neil. You broke it, you bought it.
With Louisiana facing a deficit of nearly $900 million in a state budget that runs until June 30, and a $2 billion deficit for the next fiscal year, Abramson is tasked to provide the leadership and direction to move revenue-raising bills through his committee. After the presentation by the governor clearly identifying the problem, the balls are in Abramson’s court. All legislation that will raise new revenue must pass through the Ways and Means Committee. Given the tight time frame and the high stakes, Abramson has an opportunity to demonstrate his finesse as a legislator by bringing his committee together and balancing special interests to focus on short- and long-term solutions.