Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:36 pm
Representative Kevin Pearson, chairman of the House Retirement Committee, has prepared a bill that he hopes will improve the cash balance plan – despite that the plan is the subject of ongoing litigation. The plan was overturned in court because it didn’t get a two-thirds vote in the legislature.
If the State Supreme Court does uphold the decision, the bill could be used as a safety-net, and the cash balance plan could be brought before the legislature a second time.
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:51 am
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are voicing their skepticism of Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax overhauls. The forum this morning: an annual pre-session briefing hosted by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Jim Patterson of LABI kicked off the presentation with what he’s heard from legislators about their private talks with Governor regarding his still unreleased tax overhauls. "[Gov. Jindal] does want to conform the local sales tax base to the state tax base," Patterson said. "This will help local governments to absorb what are going to be some relegation of services by the state to them.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:39 am
The group of legislators that routinely opposes Governor Bobby Jindal's use of one-time money in his proposed budgets met over the weekend, and may soon have an alternate way to fund some of higher education's budget.
Last year, the fiscal hawks proposed over $160 million of cuts to lower priority areas of the budget. Representative Kirk Talbot, a leader of the group, says those weren’t considered until the mid-year shortfall. They’ll try again this year.
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:39 pm
State Sen. Dan Claitor wants to add tax rebates to the list of matters that can only be considered in odd-numbered years, when the constitution mandates lawmakers take up fiscal issues. Generally, even-numbered years are reserved for non-fiscal deliberations. The constitutional amendment would require two-thirds approval in the legislature and a vote of the people.
Tax exclusions, exemptions, deductions, credits, and refunds are already limited to fiscal years.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 5:18 pm
Legislators have begun filing their bills for the upcoming session. The first three take up gun regulation.
Because this is an odd-numbered year, legislators will concentrate on tax and appropriation bills. But each legislator is allowed to file five bills on other topics. Gun regulation is likely to be a recurring theme.
Conservative House lawmakers who have been at odds with Gov. Bobby Jindal over budgeting tactics are proposing to rewrite the laws governing state spending.
The bills were unveiled Tuesday by the Budget Reform Coalition, a mainly Republican group.
The measures would limit what dollars lawmakers and the governor could use to pay for ongoing programs, barring patchwork financing uncertain to appear year after year. They also would set up a timeline for handling the budget so lawmakers couldn't pull it together in the final hours of a legislative session.
Lawmakers are responding with caution to Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to eliminate Louisiana's income tax in exchange for higher sales taxes and other tax code changes.
Among specific concerns raised Friday by legislators who will decide the fate of the plan are how it will impact low- to middle-income families, how it will affect local sales tax collections and whether sales taxes are too unstable a revenue source on which to base a budget.
Jindal is floating the idea of a tax swap in advance of the legislative session that begins in April.