The Louisiana Legislature waited until the final minutes of a 25-day special session Wednesday (March 9) to approve a tenuous plan to avert a financial meltdown in the short term but failed to fully fund state services by at least $30 million in the current budget cycle and a few hundred million for the budget cycle starting July 1.The key question was "who pays?"And the answer, to whatever degree the Republicans in the House could make it this, was "The poorest among us, if anyone."
A large chunk of the new funding relies on a temporary sales tax hike, one of the levies economists and tax experts specifically advised Louisiana shouldn't raise. Another large revenue-raiser put in place is the temporary suspension of existing sales tax exemptions, a funding source that will go away in four years.And then they didn't even find all the money they needed. So they're probably all coming back in June to have the same argument. Fun.