Monday, June 20, 2016

So when does Special Session 3 begin?

This one has been a near complete dud.
Senate Bill 10 initially would have made large manufacturers and chemical plants choose between two tax breaks. It was changed to keep the tax breaks in place for both companies, though restrict the amount the state would give the company if the inventory tax credit earned exceeded its total tax bill.

The bill was initially supposed to produce $68 million in the budget cycle. Now it is expected to be about $60 million, according to Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, who sponsored the legislation.

Once the bill was changed, several business groups -- including the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, paper mills, and Dow Chemical -- removed their opposition. After the amendment, the House tax committee also agreed to pass the legislation with no objections on Monday morning.
Oh wait. Check that.

Another downward revision almost every hour.  Right on schedule with every new gimmick lawmakers come up with to protect special privileges for their cronies and wealthy donors.  Combine this foolishness with this week's failure to pass even the most mildly progressive income tax reform and you start to think that maybe the problem is these guys don't actually care if anything gets funded
The drama over House Bill 38, sponsored by state Rep. Malinda White, D-Bogalusa, played out against still more bad news: the discovery of an extra $200 million shortfall, on top of the $600 million hole that Gov. John Bel Edwards has been pleading for lawmakers to close. With just a couple of days left before the session must end, it’s looking like the Legislature won’t even cobble together half that much.

So the next question to ponder is this: Just how much of an appetite do those same legislators have for making further deep cuts to higher education and health care?
The answer to Grace's question is simple. They don't care as long as their friends get their favors. Close all the hospitals if you want. In the long run it's the Governor who pays the political price. After all it's his budget, right?   And then, in a few years, when this "fiscal cliff" we're in the process of creating finally hits we're right back where we started. That will be seen as the Governor's fault too.

So it's probably in John Bel's interest to figure out how to make these legislators behave. Otherwise, he might want to rethink his long term plans.

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