Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Lawmakers differ on session priorities
- 2013 - 801 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
- December 2008 - 146 articles
- November 2008 - 147 articles
- October 2008 - 232 articles
- September 2008 - 189 articles
- August 2008 - 126 articles
- July 2008 - 147 articles
- June 2008 - 111 articles
- May 2008 - 147 articles
- April 2008 - 141 articles
- March 2008 - 125 articles
- March 31st, 2008 (Monday) - 4 articles
- March 30th, 2008 (Sunday) - 2 articles
- March 29th, 2008 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- March 27th, 2008 (Thursday) - 1 articles
- March 26th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 29 articles
- March 25th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 3 articles
- March 24th, 2008 (Monday) - 1 articles
- March 20th, 2008 (Thursday) - 8 articles
- March 19th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 11 articles
- March 18th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 13th, 2008 (Thursday) - 12 articles
- March 12th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 17 articles
- March 11th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 7th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- March 6th, 2008 (Thursday) - 13 articles
- March 5th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 15 articles
- March 4th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 3rd, 2008 (Monday) - 1 articles
- February 2008 - 135 articles
- January 2008 - 111 articles
|Lawmakers differ on session priorities|
Rep. Kay Kellogg Katz is pleased with the amount of money projects in her legislative district are slated to receive in the current special session of the Legislature.
Gov. Bobby Jindal called the special session to pass tax cuts for the business community and to spend some $1 billion in budget surplus funds. The session began Sunday; it's scheduled to last two weeks.
"I'm feeling quite good because, first of all, Ouachita Parish will have phase two of the Louisville Bridge rehabilitation," said Katz, R-Monroe. "That's $5 million."
Katz outlined a number of other big-ticket items in Ouachita Parish currently in line for funding from the $1-billion surplus.
Among those items are $3.5 million to improve and rehabilitate the Well Road interchange at Interstate 20 in West Monroe; $1.3 million for the Greater Ouachita Port; and money to rehabilitate two bridges in different parts of Ouachita Parish.
The two bridges cross Black Bayou and Young Bayou. Those bridges provide an important link to communities and neighborhoods, Katz said.
State Rep. Noble Ellington, though, expressed disappointment over the amount of money Jindal set aside for projects in northeast Louisiana. He said the region was "almost completely overlooked" in the governor's call.
"Truth of it is, when you look at the whole $1 billion , the way it's set up now, northeast Louisiana comes up with about a zip," said Ellington, D-Winnsboro. "We're fighting that battle as we speak."
Ellington lauded Rep. Jim Fannin, who Ellington credited with securing some $30 million in additional funds for rural roads. Fannin, a Democrat from Jackson Parish, serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
In the Senate, Sen. Bob Kostelka said committees had been "working hard" to pass a number of tax bills from committee so that the Legislature could begin examining them.
"Those breezed through," said Kostelka, R-Monroe. "I don't think there will be much of a fight on the floor, except for maybe the tuition deal."
Kostelka was referring to a tax deduction of up to one-half of all tuition expenses for taxpayers with children enrolled in private and parochial school. The deductions would be capped at $5,000 per child. The deductions also would affect tax filers with children who are educated at home.
Katz said the proposed deductions gave lawmakers an opportunity to ease the tax burden for some families in the state. Katz said she did not expect the deduction to cost the state much revenue.
"We don't have very many people that itemize," Katz said. "We don't have very many people as a whole that send their child to private school, so the numbers are reduced significantly in that."
Jindal administration budget officials have estimated the education tax deduction could cost as much as $20 million per year. Katz said she was happy with the tax break because she believed the cost would be far less than that.
Ellington also said he was comfortable with the tax deduction for education and expressed an interest in reviewing the final proposal, including sources of funding for it.
"I think any time we can return some of the money back to the people that that's something we ought to try to do," Ellington said.
Katz also pointed out Louisiana public schools rank among the best funded in the South in terms of per-pupil spending.
"I think we forget that in our public schools," Katz said.
The agenda for the special session also called on lawmakers to quicken the elimination of corporate franchise taxes, taxes on corporate debt and the sales tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment.
Those business taxes have often been targeted by lawmakers and the business lobby as a hindrance to economic development in Louisiana.
Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco succeeded in repealing the taxes over a seven-year rollback. Jindal's proposal would accelerate the elimination of those taxes.