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The Daily Dime

The Daily Dime is a summary of the day's news stories related to the state budget and issues that affect low- and middle-income individuals and families, compiled every business day by Louisiana Budget Project staff. Click here to have the Daily Dime delivered to your inbox.


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) helps more than 900,000 Louisianans keep food on the table and frees up resources for families to meet other basic needs, such as paying the rent and keeping the lights on. But that’s not all the program offers: SNAP Employment and Training funds support programs that help SNAP recipients connect with work.

Number of the Day

8,462 - Number of Arkansans who lost health coverage due to the state’s new work reporting requirements, as of October. While these requirements have kicked thousands off the healthcare rolls, they have connected fewer than 1 percent of those individuals with new work activities. (Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families)

Tax code is holding Louisiana back

Posted on November 15, 2018
Years of efforts to reform Louisiana’s regressive and overly complicated tax code have run aground in the state Legislature. The result: Louisianans pay the second-highest sales taxes in the nation, while the tax code is riddled with costly exemptions and deductions.

Number of the Day

19.1 - Percentage of Louisiana’s youth aged 10-17 who were obese in 2016-2017, the fourth-highest rate in the nation. (Source: The Pew Trusts)

Another business leader weighs in on ITEP

Posted on November 14, 2018
Ever since Gov. John Bel Edwards gave local authorities more control over industrial property tax breaks, the big question has been how that power should be used. Should school boards, city councils and local sheriffs issue a blank check to manufacturers?

Number of the Day

4.3 - Louisiana’s percent change in real GDP for the second quarter of this year. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)

A conservative critique of tax breaks

Posted on November 13, 2018
Homeowners, non-manufacturing businesses and ordinary citizens are the big losers when local and state government give away billions of dollars in property tax breaks for large petrochemical plants. That’s the argument from former Baton Rouge Councilman Ryan Heck, a Republican, who outlined his views about the Industrial Tax Exemption Program in an essay for the far-right blog The Hayride.

Number of the Day

21 - Percentage of Americans that have no money saved for retirement (Source: Northwestern Mutual)

The Arkansas minimum wage experiment

Posted on November 12, 2018
Louisiana is one of only five states without a minimum wage law on its books - this despite years of effort by Gov. John Bel Edwards and many others to pass a modest increase and numerous polls showing strong public approval. Directly north in Arkansas it’s a very different story.

Number of the Day

68.7  - Minimum wage as a percentage of median wage in Arkansas in 2021, when that state’s minimum wage will climb to $11 an hour. That’s the highest percentage in the country. (Source: The Washington Post)

Race equity and taxes in Louisiana

Posted on November 9, 2018
Louisiana’s upside-down tax structure means the highest income-earners pay less than the poorest families, when measured as a percentage of income. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s  “Who Pays” report lays this out in careful detail, and the latest edition breaks down the tax distribution by race.

Number of the Day

1-  The number of states that will have a divided legislature between the upper and lower chamber -  the first time in 104 years. (Source: New York Times)

A victory for fairness

Posted on November 7, 2018
Louisiana voters overwhelmingly agreed Tuesday to end a shameful Jim Crow-era split jury law, joining 48 other states and the federal government by requiring a unanimous jury for a conviction on non-capital felony offenses.

Number of the Day

64.35 - Percent of voters who approved of Amendment 2 that requires a unanimous jury to convict a person charged with a non-capital felony offense. (Source: Louisiana Secretary of State)

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