New Group to Study Old Issue – Taxes and Spending

The packet given to members at the first meeting of the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy said a lot. Each person got a thick accordion-style pocket folder containing three somewhat recent reports on Louisiana budget and tax policy.  It all but screamed, “been there, done that!” But times change, circumstances […]

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TOPS Big Topic of Session

There aren’t many cows in Louisiana that have become more sacred than TOPS to a lot of families, but in recent years that ever-popular program has been coming under increased scrutiny. Unlike a number of other programs that have attracted legislative attention, no one is saying there’s anything wrong with it or that there has […]

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K-12 Education, Higher Ed Big Part of Legislative Agenda

Any way you slice it, there were a lot of bills filed for the regular session focusing on both K-12 and postsecondary education. For colleges and universities most of the proposals deal with efforts to fix problems – either real or perceived – and give institutions a bit more of a break than they’ve been […]

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Not Many Positives Out of Special Session

It’s hard to know just what to make out of the just completed special session and what it all means for the future, but just about any way you size it up, it doesn’t look particularly good. Lawmakers did manage to close all but about $30 million of the $956 million budget shortfall that was […]

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The Takeaways from the Session So Far

With just a few days left in the current special legislative session, it may be too early to give a real assessment of how things turned out, but there are some observations worth making. The first is that going into the eighth straight year of cuts to the state budget finding additional cuts on anywhere […]

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A Spending Reform that Shouldn’t be Overlooked

It may be one of the most reform-minded bills of the session and one which most people know nothing about. It’s HB 86 by Rep. Walt Leger and its goal is to change behaviors when it comes to state spending in a way that is systemic and forward looking. To understand its intent you have […]

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House Cuts to Education Harmful to Students

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a supplemental spending bill that contains a new set of budget cuts to education that are at best, irresponsible. These actions by the House should be particularly disturbing to those who care anything about education in our state. It came in the debate over HB 122, a bill […]

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Time for a Reality Check

The general public might not pay a lot of attention to legislative sessions, but if you even make it sound like someone is going to mess with their TOPS scholarships or their football, that perks them up. Of course, despite the headlines about TOPS being cut or the football season somehow being threatened, those things […]

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Budget Situation Gets Worse on Eve of Special Session

It didn’t take long after lawmakers left the state Capitol in June to figure out that declining oil prices and lower-than-expected revenue predictions were creating major problems for the budget they had just passed. So back in November they approved yet another round of mid-year cuts with the “nod, nod, wink, wink” expectation that would […]

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Panel Suggests Adjustments to Louisiana Academic Standards

For the last several  months, a special committee appointed  by BESE has been reviewing Louisiana’s academic standards. You remember them. Those standards that were supposed to be so controversial and the ones that we’ve been using successfully in our schools for the last two to three years. The review panel was made up of sub-committees […]

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