Budget maneuvers continue at the Capitol

Photo provided by KADN staff.
Monday, May 6, 2013 - 5:49pm

Both Democrats and Republicans are coming together and reporting bills unfavorably out of committee to make sure those bills were not killed and can be used in the upcoming budget debate.

They did it for dozens of tax exemption and credit bills Monday and it's something the Jindal administration is not happy about.

"It appears there is a movement among some members of the house to adopt a secret plan to raise taxes on Louisiana families and businesses," said Governor Bobby Jindal.

In a rare move tax bill after tax bill that came before the House Ways and Means Committee was reported to the floor unfavorably. The maneuver allowed the proposed laws to go to the house floor without tweaks from the committee.

"These bills will be placed on the calendar to be treated like any other bill to be treated or amended, or returned or put on the calendar or defeated , but will be given a full debate," explained Joel Robideaux, the Republican Chair of the house Ways and Means Committee.

It is a move representatives almost never use and one governor Bobby Jindal was not pleased to see them utilize.

"The reality is the public deserves the right to know what's in the plan. They deserve the right to actually comment on this plan, that opportunity is in committee. By moving these shell bills out of committee the legislature, the House committee is actually denying the people of Louisiana the chance to make their voices heard," explained Governor Bobby Jindal.

But representatives from both sides of the aisle came together to make sure these tax credit bills make it to the house floor to be used in the budget process.

"I have a lot of hope in this process and what's going on right now and that we come out with something good and vote it up or down, rather than just pass it on, not an option,” explained Major Thibaut, a Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Jindal administration was originally in favor of getting rid of some of these same tax exemption loopholes closed, coupled with other portions of the Governor’s proposed tax plan including raising the sales tax and eliminating the income tax. The governor said allowing these exemptions would only raise taxes, without off-setting them.

"The reality is that this would detour state back. It’s contradictory to everything we've worked towards since coming into office to make Louisiana a better place to create jobs, to raise a family," said Governor Jindal.

The budget will be discussed on May 9, 2013 on the House floor.


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