LRN Newscast 17:30 Feb 25

The state House has approved a bill that will increase the state sales tax by a penny, from four cents to five cents. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson is the sponsor of the legislation….
cut 28 (09) “…18 months”
It needed 70 votes for approval and 76 House members voted for it.

The sales tax hike is a significant part of Governor John Bel Edwards’ plan to balance the budget as there’s currently a 900-million dollar deficit. If senators agree to a higher sales tax, it would raise an estimated 210-million dollars by June 30th.

The House also approved legislation that makes 101-million dollars in cuts to the current budget, which is 81-million dollars more than what the governor had proposed. K-through-12th grade state funding would be cut by 44-million dollars under the House plan.

Louisiana’s budget instability over the last several years has led Moody’s Investors Service to downgrade the state’s credit rating. The drop in the state’s credit rating will make it more expensive for the state to borrow money for construction projects. Crowley Representative Jack Montoucet reacted to Moody’s decision on the House floor…
cut 29 (09) “…we’re doing”
Montoucet is referring to the work the House did on Thursday in trying to solve the state’s budget crisis.

Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s disappointing Moody didn’t wait until the conclusion of the special session to make a decision on Louisiana’s credit rating. Edwards says it’s more important than ever for the legislature to work with him to stabilize the budget.