The Louisiana Budget Project released the following statement on the Legislature’s failure to address the state’s revenue shortfall during its special session:
“The Louisiana Legislature had one job: to stabilize the state’s revenue structure so that working families, college students, Medicaid recipients and business owners could be assured that the services they need will still be available on July 1. The failure to accomplish this does not diminish the importance of resolving Louisiana’s chronic budget shortfalls; it only makes the task more urgent.
“This session was never about raising taxes. It was about replacing some of the temporary taxes that are due to expire, and to do so in a way that reduced the state’s over-reliance on the sales tax that remains the highest in the nation.
“The real losers in this latest stalemate are the millions of Louisiana residents who depend on a strong and stable state budget. The Legislature’s failure means thousands of college students won’t know until June if Louisiana will honor its promise of a scholarship. It means doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other Medicaid providers will have to wait for months to find out if they’ll have the resources to care for Louisiana’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.
“It should be clear to everyone by now that the Legislature cannot simply cut its way to a balanced budget. The cuts-only mindset is what created our fiscal crisis in the first place, and the only way to address it is for legislators to agree on a revenue plan that supports the investments in education, health and public safety that are needed for all Louisianans to reach their full potential.”
– Jan Moller