The Rundown: The latest in tax and budget negotiations and everything else you need to know about the Louisiana Legislature today

Today in The Rundown: The 2017 session is underway; Republicans and Democrats still at odds over budget; a verdict in the Alton Sterling shooting may be coming down; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana politics.

Countdown…

Days until the regular session ends: 41

The News

Budget: House Dems are looking for more from Republicans but they have their own ideas about the budget.  http://bit.ly/2qdO2rE

 

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‘Standstill’ describes a lot in Louisiana budget debate: Opinion

Heading into the fourth week of an eight-and-a-half-week session of the Legislature, not all hope is lost. Just all hope of meaningful and long-term changes to Louisiana’s dysfunctional tax and budget structures. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican lawmakers are pretty much playing for a tie at this point: more chewing gum and bailing wire to hold things together for a few months with a promise of real overhaul somewhere down the line.

Edwards threw in the towel Tuesday (April 25), when the centerpiece of his budget package — a “commercial activity tax” — couldn’t make it through its first hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, who had agreed to carry House Bill 628, asked the committee to voluntarily defer the proposal, saving the governor from an embarrassing defeat and Democratic panel members a vote that was sure to draw heavy fire from the business community.

The governor’s hasty retreat reminded many of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s 2013 swan dive on a plan to eliminate state personal and corporate income taxes, in exchange for a hefty increase in the sales tax…

 

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The Rundown: Bills regulating sanctuary cities, opioids, paddling advance; more to know about Louisiana Legislature today

Today in The Rundown: House panel advances sanctuary cities legislation; opioid epidemic could lead to new limits on prescriptions; House will hear anti-corporal punishment legislation; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana Politics.

Countdown…

Days until the regular session ends: 42

The News

Criminal justice: The Senate has agreed that the state should do away with juvenile life without parole sentences, but the proposal faces an uphill battle in the House. http://bit.ly/2pB6pa3

 

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The Rundown: Paw-lease — the CAT is done; budget talks continue; and more to know about Louisiana politics

Today in The Rundown: The 2017 session is underway; The Louisiana Legislature sheds the CAT; Flood aid finalized; Budget talks continue; and everything else you need to know about Louisiana Politics today.

Days until the regular session ends: 43

The News

Taxes: What’s next for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ budget plan after his CAT failed? http://bit.ly/2q3pr97

 

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Bitter, partisan politics supplanting ‘good-times, same-team vibe’ in Louisiana Legislature

So many bridges have been burned at the Louisiana Capitol over the past 16 months that it sometimes feels like there aren’t any left, says Jeremy Alford.

“You can sense it inside the building’s public cafeteria in the mornings and at the various cocktails parties in the evenings,” Alford writes in his latest column. “The good-times, same-team vibe that used to define the Louisiana Legislature is being supplanted by bitter, partisan politics.”

You’ve probably heard or read about this line of thinking at one time or another since the current term commenced. But, Alford says, you may not know that other Capitol players are stuck inside this uncomfortable storyline as well…

 

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What Louisiana Can Teach The Nation About Bipartisanship

There is much to love about my home state of Louisiana- the spicy Cajun and Creole cuisine, warm weather, friendly people, entertaining politics, and of course, the LSU Tigers. However, my favorite thing about Louisiana is our unique commitment as a state to protecting mothers and children from the harms of abortion.

While most states have intense battles over the abortion issue, Louisiana has long since abandoned the typical partisan divide over abortion, becoming one of the most pro-life states in the nation. In the 2015 Gubernatorial Election, not only did all of the major candidates run on a pro-life platform, it was a pro-life Democrat, John Bel Edwards, who eventually emerged as the victor. Being pro-life was more than just a platform plank to win votes in a red state for Governor Edwards, and I was privileged to witness his strong commitment to life first hand as I worked with him and his staff on a number of important pro-life bills during the 2016 Legislative Session.

Not only was Gov. Edwards willing to meet with pro-life leaders to discuss our bills, but he made it a point to make his staff available to assist us in the drafting and presentation of the legislation. Gov. Edwards even sent his Chief of Staff Ben Nevers, a prominent former Democratic Senator, to testify in committee in favor of a bill defunding Planned Parenthood in the state…

 

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Capitol Views: CAT hearing turns into messaging exercise

With little chance of surviving a House committee debate that commenced this morning and stretched into the afternoon, the governor’s proposed commercial activity tax yielded more rhetoric than compromise during its first legislative hearing. Equally anticipated and dreaded, the meeting represents a significant mile-marker in the regular session that lawmakers convened two weeks ago.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has staked a bit of political capital on the proposal, which creates a new tax on business sales, or gross receipts. Champions for the plan are in the minority, and the potential for such a tax sent think tanks, corporate surrogates and policymakers flying into Louisiana for the opportunity to lobby and opine against the legislation.

“I’ve never seen so many Armani suits,” Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, remarked after reaching the witness table to present his House Bill 628…

 

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National conservative group targets Gov. John Bel Edwards’ tax proposals

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ tax proposal has prompted yet another ad campaign against it, just as a major component gets its first hearing in a House committee this week.

Members of the House Ways & Means Committee on Monday began hearing the details of Edwards’ proposed Commercial Activity Tax. The committee is expected to continue its hearing Tuesday morning.

America Rising Squared, an affiliated entity of the conservative America Rising political action committee, is launching a digital campaign against Edwards’s plan. It’s at least the third ad campaign prompted by Edwards’ push to overhaul taxes to prop up the state’s budget…

 

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The Rundown: Tax talks continue and everything else you need to know about the Louisiana Legislature today

Today in The Rundown: The hearing for the controversial Commercial Activity Tax continues Tuesday; a new case is raising questions about one component of the criminal justice push; lawmakers eye retirement programs; and everything else you need to know about Louisiana politics.

Countdown…

Days until the regular session ends: 44

The News

Taxes: The highest-profile tax measure of the legislative session got its first hearing on Monday, but it’s likely heading for a quick demise. http://bit.ly/2psY7kF

 

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The Rundown: House committee expecting to hear budget May 1, toy gun bill is pulled and more

Today in The Rundown: The 2017 session is underway; Temporary budget patches get noticed; House Republicans set May 1 target for hearing budget; Toy gun bill gets pulled; and everything else you need to know today about Louisiana politics.

Countdown…

Days until the regular session ends: 45

The News

Legislature: Lawmakers have returned to temporary budget patches, and the rating agencies have taken notice. http://bit.ly/2q5k6u8

 

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