Monday, January 23, 2017

Sorry, we're closed

Lance Harris has a budget proposal for you to consider. His idea was to demonstrate that the Legislature doesn't need to go into special session this year in order to plug the, now perennial,  budget shortfall.  Except all he did, basically, was he opened up his spreadsheet and just made zeroes in columns until the budget balanced. What that would mean in practice is we're just gonna shut down the state and hang a "We're Closed" sign on the door.
Alexandria Rep. Lance Harris' plan would levy the deepest reduction of $147 million on the health department. Public colleges, the state's social services department and the veterans affairs agency would be protected from hits.

Cuts would fall on roadwork, state prisons, K-12 education, agriculture and the state tourism agency, among others. Louisiana wouldn't use its "rainy day" fund under the plan -- and it could be enacted without calling the full Legislature back to Baton Rouge.
Of course, it's unworkable. But for Harris and the Republicans in the legislature, that's hardly the point. The objective here is to lay groundwork so that they can can claim, when the Governor does call them into session next month, that they tried to get everybody out of having to go.

In other words, the Governor is going to be the Grinch Who Stole Mardi Gras from a lot of these legislators and they want to make sure he is seen as such.

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