How do we fix Louisiana's budget?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Tuesday, March 6th

Tommy talks to Jan Moller, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Budget Project, about the fajilure of the special session and where we can go from here.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Young Moeller Jones is right now and say give director of the Louisiana budget project. To talk about each year and abject failure. Of the special session good morning on. Our report and annuity mega server coming owning an isn't hyperbole to say shear and abject sailors failure. I think you're understating. It he would lift that clay but that would be an insult to train wrecks where I'm wow. This play until I password John tells you really feel. Yeah I and I think I don't think there's anybody write it wouldn't share in my opinion of what just happened that the legislature. And and that that part was that this. Could have and should have been avoided. You know that that the budget problem. That the legislature created for itself in 2016. When they came in and they had a massive debt that they're your member right now in the left off the earth and our board were under. Stick a two billion dollar budget gap. And they rate it they expect our rate in the sale act and make it some of the things you're with a needle and temporary. They had a good chance. You know cynical I think it into them in and came back last year. And typical fashion and they had two months to exit and they couldn't get absolutely anything done. So available can't stand and they didn't do it simple making. In this special session and they thought you know really into a global patent expires on July 1. And the House of Representatives was absolutely completely gridlock couldn't agree on anything. And that that court is. Is that an optical back in many and he didn't. All the I don't think there's anybody who sees Louisiana we'll look at this fiscal court on July 1. Because the cut that would happen happen all the time that I don't think anybody who will go small. In terms of of cuts I had about a thousand questions for you on but in terms of this fiscal cliff that cuts that are gonna have to be made are those tablets by law or is that up to the governor. I no palpable and the like some. This means is that the legislature. And the 700 million dollars left they were rated. They're going to in the current fiscal year. The problem is that there's only. Billion dollars. That the legislature had the record over that entire board that would cut 100 million of greed and five. It becomes very typical. What we're cutting higher education. And health care which are the two big unprotected areas in the state but so. Sure you can blow. As well let them make those kind of cut but it in art college students it's gonna hurt healthcare providers and clinics. LB people needing independent state services. And again I don't think there's an old government want to do is one thing to note that the box. Out there. We shall just you know will he didn't hear it but they haven't put out a plan for how to equip it extremely difficult and it. Philosophically young who Wear wide higher end and to the healthcare why were those two. Exclusive Laura rather excluded her from cuts so our at least way to excluded from dedicated funding I guess and I'm trying to ask. Well first of all that the two big things that state government. Is health care. An education so so any time you're talking about the overall Laurie where. Those of the two things. Is state government does transportation. The other thing but that is. Is governed by the transportation caught on and that's funded by. Mostly by. It's locked up in the constitution at the minimum foundation program and the legislature can bet funding. Up or down every year but they can't kind of tamper with the and that's probably good but it definitely higher education. And and health care at these two bit and protected popped. The stuff that protect her things like. You know on payments that we owe money to build a bridge goes on to be. Gardner mutually bat. Tensions are the big thing that kind of the tour legal in the state government somebody pension work of the government whole life. Com and so again yeah a lot of them all. Global. And there are folks who want to indicate that the conversation for another day. We have to do legally. And that is. Out there all the honorable. If we don't need to play this revenue. What and a cut in July 1 in the meantime because the legislature. And it act again sooner. You know if you're seeing an increase school and you're wondering. What they. Where he sold me Lou who need mental help treatment. Of adult let me on the for all global. Community Congo that nursing home. Those kinds of services at noon. And you're gonna have to wait until he went to find out its own. You know I ask governor early he was on withers who would you say to parents. As it relates tops funny and he says not apologized. Which I thought. Muster or rather noble thing to do blue were talking Cameron Henry later and he said Topps was gonna be fully funded don't worry about it. It's how how living and do it if they fully funded. I'll go out there and a half to. Drain on revenue and there it looks like it on the button at the earliest mid may call yesterday. America adjourning the regular such an early that they can go back and the special person. But they're gonna renew some of these tax. If I find it inconceivable. That they all think Cameron Kerry won the pot up or down ballot if you wanna cut out. The problem is. Into the political problems didn't he he sent in the votes are also on all measures to be included in the patents. Well absolutely possible. And a lot of it at that it would have been different factions in the house she didn't call each holder. To do what they said they were going to be. Cameron Henry was on when this for a little while so yacht if we can start maybe with some terms when he talks about. If I understand what Cameron Henry was saying I asked him directly if the budget was set or the amount of money it let me suffered second young women go back budget. Deficit spending different terms obviously deficit is but it budget is a different term than spending when you talk about the budget. Emotionally yes and no I mean that the legislature has the makeup budget every year. Based on the amount of revenue that are expected to comment. Eerily we. We're gonna not be reportedly cited let's go slopes of the legislature hasn't make it as it. Is a combination of the senate and the house the governor gives his recommendations. Did. Quite. And he's required by law and it will call the executive budget and that is his plan for spending. You know the state money next year but at the debate on the revenue for. So the economist put together the revenue forecast every year in the current that the how much we are gonna get from sale tax. And contacts in and oil and gas revenues and all of them. That's the general fund and they convert your own man number that problem is because the taxes expire. That number is two billion dollars load next year candidates in the current year at this school. Kinda hang on let go back. If one and governor is doing his budget he gets feedback from all the agencies in government basically saying. How much do you need to conduct this level of goods and services or in terms of bonds how much do we need to pay for these bonds. Etc. the bonds I would think they're non negotiable when it comes to agencies. Asking for budget dollars. Do they have to in some way. It proved why it is that they they need the extra money in is that done before committee in a legislature. Where is that case pleaded to the governor. What in the fall you know won the governor's putting together in your recommendations. Behind closed doors the agency's go to the government and they say here that is what we're doing now it has ordered them of course they do for next year. Name me. Mean certainly. Scripting as we would do that. And the governor the economy in general look at tackle big picture of how much money we have that the what we're gonna put it in the and he gets the recommendations and legislation. Recommendations went to Manhattan opposite committee. On our generic back. And it again this forecast that the deal here now not next year that is in the corner there's. Been ago. The court to cut. That nobody including Google partners willing to mean it would essentially what it looked in the Middle Eastern in the pit in the they've. And it would tickle rape cops program and apparently and the government's. If I agree and my dad I'm probably gonna beat. You all the different that he would be that we could. Come. So now we put them. In the legislature happened all. If that global revenue problem. And so we Appropriations Committee. Irons is imminent by any agency could comment and their budget. And those agencies directed at them saying well you know we are that the moment you gamble this report within is that what the cut. Tony Eason timeout here is that. Hum. Not during this regular session isn't because early can talk about that kind of thing during this budget during the system recession or thought they couldn't. No it absolutely he does not talk about the budget sort it all and my. And that's that's what the legislature don't that he won't accept it or not. Is being poked holes and when he holds. A month mark and they're appearing in. Where they go into that if you if you if you aren't. And end all the agency come up into the nitty. There are here and the legislature. At the well if they are a bunch. So what are they prohibited from doing on and a session. Where we're at record from. So they were good hefty then only if they're gonna have budget hearings. They would have to talk about what's gonna be cut brightest thing to do it and a session. Absolutely does have to say they're gonna happen there were bought and mark they can only spend the money. That's in the revenue. So the only way to fix it would be cuts at this point even if because they can't even thought. During the regular session talk about extending that fifth penny that would have to happen in which seems to meet him on our program do. Which would have to happen after the regular session. Exactly so we're gonna have these these kind of the call in the charade that is. Thanks instantly. Will you nailed it why in the world. Politically. I know you can always look at it pragmatically but why in the world politically. Would you make people soccer and worry about tops and end. Before we get to that army for followed the question about the charity hospital thing would that affect any of the new development downtown. It would. Certainly affect the bottom line of that. That'll they are dependent on Medicaid dollars space see a lot of in the so called in the impatience for low income family. And and the money that and that comes out of the Medicaid budget and that's exactly the kind of thing that's that we need in order witnessed that. Rate so that it absolutely. Be undermining the biggest economic development project we've seen in Portland where it in the year and. Which makes every bit of sense in the world right young scorcher. Oh quickly when he comes to. It did the reasons behind this that timing behind this they knew was gonna happen. Tom politically why would be it Democrat or Republican why would you make some money so worried about this when you're gonna fix it anyway. 700 La question and I wish to answer that. And it's really it's inexplicable to me because when you look at. The amount of worry. And the stakes for the people with respect to budget is so much greater than any. Low impact of these packed votes on the average and and left it clear you right now in 5% sales tax. That sale taxes coming in July 1 is either completely covered about 4% commitment and respect or coming down the order to prepare. So. Back to a need you know no matter how much out there that ultimately the it goes down or to a experts there's a question about how much they're coming down. And the only people. Living in the book that good pairing there are being compared may. Gore got it. From Donald Trump the December who would be a little bit because they would lose one. Of their tax deductions. But again we're talking about a lot of money and nobody's gonna cancel their vacation to. Or have to sell off in order to pay tax bill. Any of this goes in we're not talking about an awful lot of money but we're opting them. Some very important services and. Honorable people and are not occur crazy about the fifth penny. If that stays in place does that pretty low fixed it all or not. They opened the news at any. And the budget it's stabilized and we can have this debate in our free agent and and the people are. That seems to me would most of the people in Louisiana prefer has repayment already thank Dion appreciate your time and I'll be come back. Thank you Syria and Moeller executive director Louisiana budget project.