A week later, state leaders are beginning to get a firm idea of just what the special session will mean for the upcoming governor’s race. Matt Doyle has the story.
Residents can keep a better eye on how tax dollars are spent as the state is rolling out a new website known as the Louisiana Checkbook. Kevin Barnhart has the story.
Three SLU baseball players saved a woman from a car fire in Canada. Connor Ferrill has more.
State leaders have had a week now to stew about the results of the special session that ended with a 4.45 percent compromise sales tax that fully funds most state programs. With the fiscal cliff in the rear view mirror, attentions now turn to the upcoming Governor’s race next year. GOP House Charmain Lance Harris says the results of the session make it clear the state needs a conservative governor.
Harris watched as most of the Republican backed spending cuts and budget reform bills were defeated in the legislature, or vetoed by the governor. He says that won’t stop his caucus from continuing to push for that legislation, but he says those cuts won’t be possible as long as Governor John Bel Edwards sits in the governor’s mansion.
But Democrats are touting the results. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Johnson says the Democratic coalition’s ability to preserve healthcare, higher ed, and TOPS sends a strong message about the party’s values heading into the governor’s race, as well as their success in solving the budget crisis created by the last administration.
Despite initial opposition to renewing any portion of the one cent sales tax, specifically from the Black Caucus who felt that sales taxes hit the working class hardest, Democrats voted nearly unanimously for the partial renewal.
Johnson says with the fiscal cliff in the rear view mirror, and a major election year coming up, he expects Democrats to begin rallying behind one message in particular.
Johnson says it’s not just teachers who need a raise, but all school support personnel.
Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says he expects US Senator, and former State Treasury Secretary, John Kennedy to be Governor John Bel Edwards’ main opponent for the governor’s mansion. He says having Kennedy spearhead a conservative push in Louisiana next year will likely boost the profile of the 22 House Republicans who refused the final tax bill.
Pinsonat says expect the partisan rhetoric to start ramping up the closer we get to 2019, with the sales tax compromise and final budget the mostly avoided any notable cuts being major wedges issue for candidates seeking reelection
With much of the recent attention on funding Louisiana’s budget, the state is making upgrades to the way residents can keep a better eye on how tax dollars are spent as they roll out the Louisiana Checkbook. The website mirrors efforts in other state’s like Ohio to improve transparency. Policy Director at the Division of Administration, Jaques Berry, says he hopes the push for more openness in government spending will catch on.
Berry says the website will showcase expenditures as well as vendor payments for each department, allowing voters to dig deep into the particulars of each agency’s spending decisions.
Berry says the website is easy to use, and comes with a user friendly interface that will be familiar to people who use modern cell phone apps.
Three Southeastern baseball players alongside their coach saved a woman from a burning wreck of a car in the great north of Kelowna, Canada. The team was headed to a summer league game when SLU catcher Evan Pace says they saw smoke coming up out of a ditch alongside the road…
Pace says he and his teammates, Trey Morgan of West Feliciana, Kyle Schimpf of Covington, and Coach Darren Westergard weren’t sure what to expect running up to the vehicle…
Pace says once the smoke had cleared the athletes had gained a new friend, getting to enjoy some time in the car on their road trip before delivering the woman to safety…
60-year-old Elie Dupre has been ordered to pay $2,500 after his 15-year-old son killed a black bear in 2015. The son didn’t escape punishment either after being given 100 hours of community service and having his hunting license suspended for a year. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Spokesperson Adam Einck says the two were aware of their actions…
Einck says make sure you’re prepared before heading out for some hunting, and don’t shoot Black Bears.