Stephen Waguespack

June 18, 2018

Once more, with feeling

Thirteen days from today marks the start of the 2018-19 state fiscal year. If the Legislature fails to craft a revenue deal by then, Louisiana faces the specter of unprecedented cuts to higher education, public safety and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which puts food on the table for nearly 1 in 5 Louisianans.

Number of the Day

$67.5 million - Annual cost to the state of administering the food assistance program (SNAP). A $34.7 million cut would force the program to shut down during the 2018-19 fiscal year (Source: LBP via House Fiscal Division)
March 1, 2018

Special session on life support

The special legislative session is teetering on the brink of collapse after a crucial sales tax bill favored by Republicans was shot down Wednesday night, with only 38 of 105 House members voting for it (it needed 70 votes to pass).

Number of the Day

67 - Number of legislators who voted against House Bill 23 that would temporarily renew one-quarter of an expiring 1 percent sales tax and temporarily eliminate some sales tax breaks (Source: legis.la.gov)
February 14, 2018

Medicaid expansion is working

As the Legislature heads toward a long-anticipated special session, some conservatives have tried blaming Louisiana’s Medicaid program - instead of expiring temporary taxes -  for the state’s ongoing structural budget deficits.

Number of the Day

$115 billion - Estimated annual cost of the ongoing opioid crisis in 2017. Most of the cost is due to lost earnings and productivity from overdose deaths. (Source: Altarum via Axios)
May 18, 2017

Minimum wage, LGBT bills advance

For the second year in a row, the Senate Labor Committee agreed to establish a minimum wage in Louisiana for the first time.

Number of the Day

212,000 - Number of Louisiana workers who would get a pay increase if Louisiana’s minimum wage is raised to $8.50 per hour (Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of U.S. Census Current Population Survey data)