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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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Medicaid Work Requirements Don’t Work

While the idea of a work requirement may sound good to some, the reality is that it would take away health coverage, create more red tape and make it harder for many people who want to work to find employment.

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The Daily Dime

Members of the Senate Finance Committee met Sunday to review the Draconian budget bill approved last week by the House. Some, like Chairman Eric Lafleur of Ville Platte, were horrified by the cuts to health care and graduate medical education.

Number of the Day

66,099 - Number of employees on the state payroll as of December 2017, down from 100,473 in Fiscal Year 2008. Nationwide, the state and local public sector workforce is the smallest it’s been since 1967 as a share of the civilian American civilian workforce.  (Source: Division of Administration and The New York Times)

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Our Two Cents Blog

Click here for a PDF version of this brief.

As the end of state fiscal year 2018 nears, Louisiana’s state agencies and administrators are trying to figure out what their budgets might look like come July 1. For now, they have to plan as if the state will go over the “fiscal cliff,” meaning the Legislature will allow almost $1.4 billion in temporary taxes to expire without enacting any replacement measures.

There is still an opportunity for state lawmakers to go into a second special session and raise revenue to avoid the fiscal cliff. But for now, state agency leaders have had to come before the budget writing committees – House Appropriations and Senate Finance – to share the impact on programs and services if they had to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from their agencies’ budgets.

Medicaid would be program most impacted by fiscal cliff

The state’s Medicaid program, administered by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), is the area of spending that would be most deeply cut if the Legislature does not enact revenue raising measures. The executive budget proposes a $656 million cut in state funding for Medicaid, which would trigger the loss of $1.58 billion in federal Medicaid funding and $168 million from other sources. The result is a $2.4 billion cut to a program that serves Louisiana children, people with disabilities, the elderly and people with very low incomes. That’s a reduction of nearly 20 percent compared to current funding levels.

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