Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Abramson Budget

As the news about the state fiscal crisis becomes more and more awesome each day, let us not lose sight of the fact that one Democratic State Representative promised he would personally take care of everything for us if 1) We let the Republicans control the house and 2) We let him be the one guy they were nice to.

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.

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.
It's all on you, Neil. You broke it, you bought it.  

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