Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday morning that state budget problems mean it would be "very difficult" to win legislative approval for a $700 million tax and fee hike for roads and bridges.The task force's recommendations are already comically milquetoast. It's a shame that Governor is already publicly backing away from even that benchmark. If he really does want to keep the job, this isn't the way to do it. The way to establish yourself when the other side already has the knives out for you anyway is to go in and have the fight with them. Edwards already tried playing "disappointed dad" last year. That hasn't won him any advantages.
The increase was recommended last month by a task force named by the governor, and the issue is expected to be debated during the 2017 regular session.
Edwards, in an hour-long meeting with the editorial board of The Advocate, said while state transportation needs are tremendous ongoing state budget problems will make it hard for a major boost in road and bridge spending.
While the task force did not spell out a specific way to raise $700 million annually, it said state gas taxes are the most reliable way to generate dollars.
Any such increase would require the approval of two thirds of the House and Senate during a session that begins April 10.
"Is it going to be hard to raise the gas tax? Absolutely," Edwards told reporters and editors.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
How long before John Bel quits?
He says he's running for reelection but it's starting to sound like he doesn't want to do the job anymore.