Louisiana House democrat Ed Price spoke at the D'ville Rotary lunch on Thursday, March 30 in order to update the Rotarians about what's going on in the state legistature.
Rotarian Boo LeBlanc introduced Price by adding that it is not a typical procedure to have a candidate running for office speak at a rotary meeting. Price is in fact running for state senate this month to fill Troy Brown's former seat. But since Price is also a state representative, he was allowed to address the club.
Price did not mention the senate race one time. Rather, he spoke on the current affairs of the State of Louisiana. First, he congratulated the new Holiday Inn Express opening in D'ville.
The state created a one cent temporary sales tax in order to help balance the budget. Price said it expires in 2018. At that time it goes to a vote whether it stays in place or not. Rotarians seemed skeptical that it was temporary.
Price touched a little upon the reasons for the state's financial woes. He placed some of the blame on Bobby Jindal.
"We were using a lot of one time dollars, non-recurring funds to balance the budget," Price said. "It finally caught up with us.
". . . The prior governor had made a commitment that he was not going to raise any revenue during his time in office, and of course he had higher aspirations at that time and that was a big thing."
Next, Price mentioned that there are two things that get cut when there is a budget shortfall: healthcare and higher education. This is due to the fact that the funding for these entities is not protected by the state constitution.
But the third thing he mentioned the state is looking to cut from is the penitentiary funding. He brought up some of Gov. Edwards prison reforms, in effort to lower the state's incarceration rate, which is the highest in America.