From James Quinn, Executive Director, LAGOP:
Summary of the Session: The Democrats Spent Everything, Endangering our Future
Baton Rouge) – “Despite a loud public outcry and countless calls for fiscal responsibility, Blanco and her legislative team stubbornly insisted on spending every last dollar in the state’s coffers. Led by a lame duck Governor, the Democrat controlled legislature spent every available dime in the state treasury passing the largest budget in the history of Louisiana, nearly 32 billion dollars (four years ago the budget was 18 billion dollars). This is an amazing feat considering we lost hundreds of thousands of people in the last couple of years. Will the Democrats ever learn that more spending is not the answer?” stated Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman, Roger Villere Jr.
“The out-numbered Republican Delegation was unable to stop the Blanco spending train. The Republicans in the legislature did try to slow it down and prevent the Governor and her legislative allies from jamming a budget without any tax cuts through the process without debate and discussion, but ultimately lacked the votes. The budget bills were written by Democrats, pushed through committees by Democrats, and guided on the House and Senate floor by Democrats, knowing that Blanco was eagerly waiting a few floors above to sign anything that involves an increase in government spending that crosses her desk.”
“It was terrible that the government spent billions of the surplus money, but what may be worse is that they earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars in recurring expenses that will further inhibit budget flexibility. Many economic analysts have said that the surplus is a direct result of the temporary spending from the hurricanes and that we are living in a false economy not knowing if the surpluses will continue. Of course Democrats believe that the federal government will continue to pump billions through our state every year for recovery efforts, but realistic people know that the money will eventually stop coming.”
“We asked for a modest $300 million in tax breaks to give relief to Louisiana families and businesses. That is less than one percent of the entire budget. Unfortunately, Gov. Blanco and her hand-picked floor leaders not only refused to back prudent tax cuts but decided to add 1,000 new government jobs that no one seems to have a clue what they do. For Democrats, government spending and growing the government bureaucracy is always the top priority and the citizens and businesses of the state are often forgotten.”
“A handful of good bills beat the odds and got through the hostile legislature. A few tax cuts, teacher pay raise, a ban on partial birth abortion, protection of the TOPS program, illegalization of cockfighting, and the abolishment of the Louisiana Insurance Commission are examples of those. Unfortunately, good legislation was the exception to the rule in the Louisiana legislature this session.”
“Fortunately, last night’s adjournment not only marked the end of session and a stop to fiscal insanity, but hopefully ended an era at the Louisiana Legislature. Democrats have controlled our legislature since Reconstruction (yes, the 1870’s) and we are nearly last in everything good. A Republican legislature, led by Congressman Jindal as Governor, will get our state moving in a positive, new direction. Citizens of Louisiana, the Republican Party of Louisiana is working hard everyday for change, and to get competent and qualified people elected this fall. I assure you, help is on the way,” said Villere.