In The Spotlight

Policy Brief: Enhancing Louisiana’s EITC

Expanding our state EITC is a common sense way to help Louisiana’s low-paid working families make ends meet as lawmakers pursue a partial renewal of the 2016 sales tax increase.

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New Report: It’s Time to Raise the Wage in Louisiana

Louisiana workers are long overdue for a pay raise. Although the state's unemployment rate is at its lowest rate in a decade, far too many workers are not earning enough to make ends meet.

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State fiscal situation is an embarrassment

The governor's fiscal year 2019 budget should be taken as a very serious warning of what can happen to vital state investments in health care, education and social services if the political deadlock in Baton Rouge is not broken.

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  • Letter: End Session Early

    Click here to read a letter urging the Legislature to call an early end to the 2018 regular legislative session.

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The Daily Dime

Legislators have several options for replacing expiring tax revenue during the special session that convenes this afternoon, including: eliminating sales tax exemptions, curbing tax incentive programs or reducing income tax deductions.

Number of the Day

10.6 percent - Percentage of infants in Louisiana born below the minimum weight for a healthy newborn in 2015, which is higher than the national average of 8.1 percent and is the second highest low birth weight rate in the country. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Our Two Cents Blog

Click here to read a PDF of this blog post.

The Legislature will reconvene May 22 through June 4 for a special session focused on raising or retaining enough revenue to craft the 2018-19 state budget without damaging cuts to higher education, health care and public safety services. The special session is necessary because $1.4 billion in revenue that supports this year’s budget budget is expiring on June 30.

Louisiana’s economy is improving, and so are tax collections. The federal tax-cut law that passed in December added more than $300 million to the state’s revenue forecast because Louisianans will not have as much federal taxes to deduct on their state income tax returns. Thus, the difference between the state general fund in the current-year budget, and the revenue available for appropriation in the 2018-19 budget cycle, is $648 million. Failure to reach that revenue target in the special session will likely force cuts to health care, higher education and other programs.

Cuts to state government programs and services would not only impact the people who benefit from them, but would also have ripple effects throughout the state’s economy in the form of lost jobs and decreased economic activity.

Any solution to the fiscal cliff needs to meet two critical tests: Adequacy and fairness. That means the Legislature needs to retain enough revenue to avoid cuts to critical services that have already been severely reduced over the past decade. And the tax changes should protect low-income families by ensuring they do not bear a disproportionate share of the cost.

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