30 March 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly -- Prefiled bills though March

Pre-filing of bills continue, so let’s see what we’ve gotten a month out from the session’s start:

THE GOOD: HB 48 by Rep. Steve Scalise would eliminate the corporate franchise tax on debt – Louisiana is the only state that retains this sapper of economic initiative (similar bills: HB 52). HB 53 by Rep. Hunter Greene repeals the gift tax, granting more choice to individuals in how to utilize their assets (similar bill: HB 42). HB 86 by Rep. Dan Morrish will accelerate the elimination of sales tax on utilities (similar bill: HB 115). HB 113 by Rep. Mike Powell provides for more severe sentencing of criminals who commit a series of petty thefts that singly carry little in the way of punishment and extends the reach of the law to middlemen. HB 138 by Rep. Carl Crane brings about greater disclosure of legislator incomes. SB 22 by Sen. Walter Boasso would make it easier to recall elected officials. SB 28 by Sen. Max Malone would eliminate personal, corporate, trust, and estate income taxes (similar bills: SB 18, SB 29, SB 30, SB 35).

(Similar bills to HB 23: HB 54, HB 78, SB 20)

THE BAD: HB 119 by Rep. Willie Hunter would establish a job-killing state minimum wage above the current federal level. His HB 158 tries to establish comparable worth, the idea that government estimations rather than the marketplace should determine wages, as state labor policy. SB 40 by Sen. Cleo Fields would weaken ethics laws in regards to legislators.

THE UGLY: HB 50 by Rep. John Alario corrects an error from the previous session that does not allow for any surplus fund balances to be transferred over to the next fiscal year.