On March 26, 2010 the Shreveport Times published “Louisiana Needs a More Equitable Approach,” an opinion editorial by the Louisiana Budget Project (LBP) Director, Edward Ashworth.
The paper describes the increased need for state services, during a time when there are major budget cuts in state spending. The article acknowledges that the state’s fiscal issues are not due to out-of-control state spending. Revenues are insufficient to pay for the state’s growing needs, due in significant part to two of the largest state tax cuts in Louisiana history. The projected five-year cost of these tax cuts totaled $2.2 billion, including $583 million this fiscal year and $619 million next fiscal year.
In response to the administration’s recent decision to raise the driver’s license fees by 70 percent, the governor’s office stated that it was in response to an “unfunded federal mandate.” Yet, the governor proposes eliminating the state funding for the $5,000 stipend local school districts must pay teachers who obtain their national board certification, turning it into an unfunded state mandate districts must cover out of already stretched budgets.