Budget Feud Between Governor And State Treasurer Escalates
Governor John Bel Edwards has his ideas about how to fix Louisiana's budget crisis. State Treasurer John Kennedy has a different plan. Both men believe their way is the best way for the state to regain solid financial footing. Neither man appears to have a lot of faith in how the other man's plan will work. In other words, it's Louisiana politics as usual.
Edwards, the Democratic Governor, believes that the generation of new revenue along with cuts in the budget are the way to go. Kennedy, the Republican Treasurer, is saying there is too much waste in Louisiana's budget already. He is suggesting that by simply cutting out unnecessary programs and contracts the state can achieve a balanced budget.
A recent poll showed that most Louisiana voters were siding with Kennedy's proposal. However, Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says the polls don't always offer a realistic insight into what actually needs to be done.
However the polls don’t always tell the truth in terms of what the state actually needs and most people including the revenue estimating committee believe it’s going to take some new revenue, as well.
Cross, a professor at the University of Louisiana, suggested to the Louisiana Radio Network that both Edwards' and Kennedy's approach have merit. He's not so sure that either plan would work without a little compromise.
I think this kind of drama is clearly counterproductive for solving Louisiana’s budget problems.
Cross seems to be saying that the harder both men rally support for their position, the less likely a compromise can be reached. The bottom line is the state still has a $900 million shortfall that has to be made up.
The legislature continues it's second week of a special session called to alleviate the budget crisis. The session will come to an end March 9th, hopefully with an equitable agreement on how the state's budget can be balanced.