Wednesday, May 9, 2007

TARGETED LEGISLATION

The problem:
HB575 “The passage of this bill would require this office (Secretary of State) and our state to conduct a two-track election process and send out 2.8 million or so pieces of (absentee voter) mail,” Dardenne said. This bill is awaiting review by the Appropriations Committee and we’ll be watching for it to be called up by the Committee.

HB619 Introduces the option for citizens to vote at ‘satellite voting centers’ outside their normal voting districts, creating an overload upon Louisiana’s electoral system. “(It’s) a complete misuse of taxpayer money and places an unnecessary burden on the Secretary of State’s office” stated Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Roger Villere, Jr. This bill was scheduled to be heard on the Floor of the House Chamber today but Secretary Dardenne’s Office stated that it seemed unlikely to be brought up for debate today; and it wasn’t debated.

Possible Solution:
“Could the funds to be allocated for burdensome projects be better spent paying for the training and hiring of commissioners and commissioners-in-charge? Paid time for training and better pay for poll workers could generate more of an interest in becoming commissioners. Might we search for a sympathetic legislator who could embrace this concept and draw up such a bill?” LFRW contributor

ACTION:
We will watch for and notify LFRW members when this bill appears on the House Floor. You may register your opposition to HB619 by contacting your legislator(s). Opposing HB619 will lend a great amount of support in having this bill defeated.

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Twelve bills that restore tax cuts eliminated by the Stelly plan

LFRW thanks the many of you who took time to speak with legislators in support of various aspects of these bills.

The Problem:
– word has it that the (House Ways and Means) Committee will only “take the Republican bills under advisement”; only those bills that have the support of our Governor will be given favor.” This statement tells but one part of a story…”And…Now, for the rest of the story…” in Paul Harvey style.

After speaking with some members of the House Ways and Means Committee, it became clear that the Committee has fashioned a strategy. The strategy they speak of is for a unified committee to pass a bill addressing two major portions of the Stelly tax:
Itemized Deductions
Reinstating tax rates and brackets

These two major issues also address LFRW 2006 Resolutions #2 and #3!

Here is what is known about their effort:
The (anti-Stelly) bills before the committee do not have sufficient support from Committee members for passage. For certain, the bills are not going to be able to pass in their original form, and quite possibly not even in an amended fashion.

The unified committee will fashion one bill (quite possibly) from Representative Townsend’s bill encompassing the two major issues above. ALL nineteen members will affix their signatures, thereby co-sponsoring the bill. This will cast the weight of a nineteen-member support grid.

When the bill gets voted out of Committee, it proceeds to the House Floor for Debate.

The Committee’s effort united behind these two issues will be powerful! Any legislator on the Floor, or in Conference who is found opposing that one bill, will be found opposing a committee of nineteen sponsors.

Of the nineteen members on the House Ways and Means Committee, only two members are Republicans and two votes don’t make a quorum.

Bills voted out of Committee can be worked on and tweaked while in Floor Debate or while in Conference. Floor Debate and Conference adds to the number of Republicans involved in shaping and amending the bill.

Possible Solution:
Move a bill that restores tax cuts and brackets out of Committee to Debate on the Floor of the House.

ACTION:
We will watch for the development of that one unified bill purportedly reversing two portions of the Stelly tax plan. Taking no action to push favored bills may afford sufficient latitude for the Committee to fashion their unified bill. Taking no action may prevent us from impeding upon their strategy; action could conceivably endanger the restoration of tax cuts.

1 comment:

Your Liberal Friend said...

Chris Whittington responds to Dardenne's Un-American legislation:

"One of the first things that Republican Secretary of State Jay Dardenne did after taking office was to immediately purge 86,000 voters from the rolls, 75% of which were Democrats. Now, he has engaged the assistance of the Republican Party Chairman to oppose legislation that would allow many of the displaced Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita storm victims from participating in the upcoming election process. That is downright UNAMERICAN! In the day and age of Louisiana where we have unprecedented financial surplus, the Republicans want to suppress voters rights based on funding as opposed to enhancing what has come to resemble the crown jewel of our society of choosing our leaders in government; the right not only to vote, but that the vote be counted and be based upon well informed information. Secretary Dardenne and Republican Party Chairman Villere should hang their heads in shame for working to inhibit the opportunity of storm displaced Louisiana voters from being able to vote their choice for their candidates."