24 February 2018

Legislative special session through Feb. 24, 2018

What little happened during first of two weeks of the special session was not encouraging. Two bills introduced in the interim largely mimicked other bills: HB 29 by Speaker Taylor Barras reflected HB 1 and SB 7 by Sen. Mike Walsworth reflected HB 2.

THE GOOD: HB 24 by Rep. Pat Smith would consolidate the confusing patchwork of sales tax holidays.

THE BAD: HB 25 by Jay Morris would alter certain tax exceptions in an incoherent manner; HB 26 by Rep. Stephen Dwight would increase permanently sales taxes; HB 27 by Smith would increase taxes on telephone lines (similar bill: HB 28).

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 12 passed House committee; HB 15 with minor amendment passed House committee; with minor amendment passed House committee; HB 24 with minor amendment passed House committee; HB 29 passed House committee.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 27 passed House committee; HB 28 passed House committee.

18 February 2018

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for the 2018 1st Extraordinary Session

Welcome to Louisiana’s new late winter tradition, an extraordinary session of the Louisiana Legislature. And time for the good, bad and ugly of the First Session of 2018 (note that some prefiled bills may be added as fiscal implications become clear; no fiscal notes have yet to be issued for any bill):

THE GOOD: HB 1 by Rep. Barry Ivey would increase transparency in government spending: HB 2 by Rep. Tony Bacala would strengthen fraud detection in Medicaid eligibility (similar bills: HB 5); HB 3 by Rep. Frank Hoffman would establish a work-like requirement for Medicaid (similar bill: SB 5); HB 4 by Rep. Jack McFarland would increase client responsibility in Medicaid (similar bill: HB 11); HB 12 by Speaker Taylor Barras would make the expenditure limit a better tool for fiscal control (similar bill: HB 15);

THE BAD: HB 7 by Rep. Ted James reduces income tax deductibility without corresponding rate reduction (similar bill: HB 8); HB 9 by Rep. Walt Leger raises some marginal individual income tax rates (similar bill: HB 13); HB 17 by Rep. Stephen Dwight provides for a permanent sales tax increase (similar bill: HB 18); HB 19 by Leger broadens sales taxation without corresponding rate reduction; HB 21 by Leger raises some marginal corporate income tax rates (similar bill: HB 22); SB 3 by Sen. J.P. Morrell would alter certain tax exceptions in an incoherent manner.