Kicking the Louisiana budget down the road

Newell Normand
Friday, February 23rd

News Director of the Louisiana Network, Jeff Palermo, joins us to talk budget issues plaguing the state. 

00:13:49

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

In the first hour we're going to be talking about this special session in it seems as though. Not unlike what's going on in congress. That we are just. Hitting hurdles that we just can't get over. And we may be on a path yet again of going nowhere. As of this morning. Our last evening it seems as though. The news or reporting that the special session has careened further off course yesterday and nearly every major bill is stalled and what that means for us and joining us to talk about it is Jeff Palermo news director of the Louisiana network welcome to the show Jeff. Nor will it go at the dock with the you do that a. Doing great I wish we had to some more. Favorable things to talk about it just seems like we're always talking about people not. Able to get along and not able to move things forward. Yeah unfortunately that's the way it seems so far there this a special session but there does seem to be a glimmer of hope. Spoke in this storybook couple keep players in this state legislature. Represented a James and backers is that. Vice chair of the black caucus. And then I'll talk with proper evident even to light up like Charles. Who has the bill that would make a portion. Of that one that pepper sales tax Milosevic apportion of that permit. And it bill which has the support of a lot of Republicans stalled and outplayed and needs committee this morning. Both men represented game that represented a delight date the communication has certainly picked up here over. Lilly sent so late yesterday afternoon. And there's that feeling that may be a compromise is in reached. Now the ways and means can ideologue without help the welfare which had a couple of Medicaid reform bills. There are set to meet on Sunday afternoon and and pull out the that the meat so later that day. So wolf say you know the idea that they always say the doubled in the deep now. But doubtful that that. Prior there was really no confrontation between the different factions that the state legislature. What now though winds of communication are open and and captured continue to talk that they try to find some sort of compromise here between. Bikini picking permanent apportion of that temporary sales tax that's typical way and it ought to looking at the accepts federal itemized deductions. Democrats would would like to reduce the amount that. State taxpayers are roll out that the duct. And now Republicans are not so interested in in making it change so. That's where the battle lines are draw at this point but there seems to be at least a little bit more communication at all. Jeff at the end of the day none of these issues are gonna get them individually and even collectively are the ones that they're talking about on the table or even gonna get a lot don't believe half way. To the amount of money that they need to get so what else are they talking about. On the expenditure side that they can't seem to get along worth either. Well I directed there. From the re. Republican lawmakers point of view there are looking at what will happen and two state revenues as a result. The federal. Tax reform bill that was so of course approved by congress late last year and we had the the story last week where the withholding tables have been changed which means the stated now collecting. More state rabbit. And the early indication was that maybe they would this state would give an additional 22230. Million dollars. Wolf now the legislative economists. Greg Albrecht is that that number might be more altered at 300. So we're looking at about 500 test under appealing dollar shortfall to begin with that this state about collecting more rapidly than anticipated. And then. Through this tax reform legislation if they're able. Quote the gap a little bit more. And it was. Stated that it would probably be up that a governor. Redraw the the budget and decide where maybe another 20300 billion dollar console app to be but obviously that. A far cry from and I'm honored in BP for Billy that they are currently looking at the at this point though. Again maybe a daughter died of hope that the that the content and activity. As what the governor per. Proposed in his budget that he. Laid out the law makers earlier that spot which of course had our cook correctly 80% cut fought need to be topped out. Yeah in. The number on here and is it a quarter percent sales tax increase Macon permanent is that what you're hearing. Yes that's what I've carried. Again now that might change a little bit I can't tell you the late for proper what represented at that James told me. There's also that the proposals that increase the sales stack space meeting that you attacked for services that are currently about pack or. Take away some of the exemptions that exist today I think cork in. North of four billion dollars of our Brian memory serves me correct. Thought I'd bet that sort of battle is that how much figure he continued Keeney Emeka. A portion of that sales tax that what's that sales tax that's going away can you make a portion of that. Permit a quarter edit property sales tax exemptions. You take away the balance that out. Obviously Democrats are pushing for. More of those sales tax exemptions to be taken away because a lot of businesses big businesses benefit from those sales tax exemptions. And they don't want the higher sales tax rate right now or 5%. Republicans are proposing to put in. At four point 25%. Starting at. July 1 the fiscal year. You know the chatter that also here is that trumped given thing now everyone has taken the taken it away. Both at the federal level with the consideration. Gas taxes going up and into the forty cent range. With roughly. I think it's. Twenty some twenty cents on the state level so we're you'd be over sixty cents a gallon. Point in taxes. And and then when we consider what's going on here whatever we get we got from that tax reform package seems to be. Dissipating fairly quick. Yes it's it does at this point. And right now there doesn't seem to be any put in all what it comes to gasoline tax so it. That that. At this moment that thought that the bill off the table. I know that when the governor and secretary state transportation secretary shop well and met with the president now roundtable meeting. They are great concerns date that what the president has been talking about when it comes to a new infrastructure bill that would require the states to pay more money. And Louisiana they'll have extra money to dip for the federal government for roadway projects and that's that the concern certainly wants. Whatever congress decides to. That the in other bill looks like whatsoever it's not congress but let's step play concern for state leaders. Jeff I can't help but suspect that there's just a little bit of politics going on here and a little bit a posh string relative to the next governor's race Colin on here is as it relates to things moving. Any quicker. Yet there does seem that Depp played a backdrop here you know there's been the the reports the whispers. And I've never heard a Republican lawmaker. Stated the beer or say it on the record anyway that. A lot of that he. Division seen that the capitol is could. Fatal one at the governor Edward succeed. Get the peace exceed that improves the chances obviously these re elected into doubt that ninety so. Brother that part of what's happening here I can't tell you for sure. But I can't tell you that I mean we we don't politics toward spill right and so. We know that in a pack drop that's that's in the mine here. We we don't have really any announced candidates against governor Edward at this point there's against speculation. Who may run Senator Kennedy congressman Ralph paper and maybe congressman Gray's attorney general Jeff Landry Fields are some of the name to the been floated out there and aid it is there is there are other things happening behind the scenes. Also leading to the gridlock that received here at the capitol that it's quite possible quite possible there's no doubt about that. Well you've been around a long time it have you seen it as partisan as it is now. No I have not. And it's it's seems like it's skinny. Or indoors. You know every year it it seems that way you really started to see it develop towards the end. Bob Bobby Jindal second term there and governor. And it it's really erupted here. India State Capitol. Especially consider. And really from day one of the outward administration to remember and it paid eighty. What sort and the house at a meaty. And it did a packed house speaker an impasse that the governor would usually basically stated that the guy who want to be in my house speaker and brought to the legislature would go on with that but. The Republicans and house did not go on with the governors which is it's far too that's a speaker wasn't it our rob. Ended up becoming kind of compromise candidate and he was elected speaker so. We have seen this the battle here between the house Republican leadership and governor Edward and it it started for and they wanted. Both sides are really delegates that are respected trenchant. And it seems to me that even with in two both respective parties this mindset has begun to. Kind of the consensus that they had as a party and now they are completely fragmented as well. And I would say well what kind of shaping up here in this special session it's very similar to what we're seen. With congress. It seems like in congress the Democrats are. Are much more holes are much more together where you have factions and Republican Party. And part of a regional approach metropolis and negative health care legislation approved it considers these back to the Republican Party. And I think things happening now on the state level the Democrats. Are formally opposed any increase in the state sales tax. Well in the Republican Party in the states side there's factions exactly how much they're willing to accept that start making permanent the February sales tax. Accident federal took. Itemized deductions there's the Republican that yet that really get behind a single plant like the Democrats that. And it's almost his lips no one wants to be the first person to put their tone war. It because they're afraid of being subjected to some criticism from whatever the philosophical bent is of their party. Well there are the moderate Republicans. There have been a little bit outspoken I would say kitty Lambert who represents the Saint Francis spill area. He's had the bullet displays and in. He if he'd been won a boat that's been outspoken of you know wanted to vote on certain tax proposals that. Other Republican other members of the Republican and delegation. Especially the ones that are firmly anti tactics they want no part of those type of bills. When it comes to dealing with income taxes or they keep sales tax break away for businesses. And then the same ones that don't want to propose any cuts either. At least that's what the governor is that he's been. It's sort of the point where to cut in the budget. A lot about what you do act and they say all the Medicaid budget is way it is there's there's no reason why this state to be paid that much for Medicaid and the currently heads. And that's why you do have the but he Medicaid reform bill. What it's still alive it looks like based on the agenda for the how health and welfare committee on Sunday and that is the one Rick regarding. Able body adults and work requirements for those that are on Medicaid looks like will be that they'll possibly. You know bowl on Sunday afternoon we'll leave that past. And has has that the governor said that he's willing to support that bill. Act before it looked represented apartment. I bet legislation that would hurt yesterday. In health and welfare and never had a bowl because that spot or the built breakup been noted speed and have the votes for it. But right there with them as he was discussing the legislation. Were a key member governor Edwards staff. Some and ask for your little crystal ball prediction. Do we get anywhere. Think there is the compromise that will be read but I don't think that that's going to be the permanent tax reform that governor Edward. Would look at Portland a special session started and I don't know it's really truly going to address the state continue it. Up budget bloat that it did the year in and year out. But Kabul tell what they I think they'll make public ban that's been here on tax reform is it truly meaningful tax reform I don't think they get to that point. And we'll have to wait probably for other next after 2019 after the governor's election purportedly. They take another look at. When Jeff thanks so much for joining us we really appreciate your insight thanks again. Oh.
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