On Tuesday, elected officials and concerned citizens met with local representatives at the Annual Legislative Update Breakfast in Welsh. Presented by the Jeff Davis Business Alliance, the meeting gave individuals the opportunity to discuss the upcoming Louisiana Legislative session.
Senator Dan "Blade" Morrish (District 25) and State Representative Johnny Guinn (District 37) wasted no time getting to what they believe are the most important issues in the legislative session.
"I believe," began Morrish, " the number one issue is the budget."
Morrish believes the 2013 Governor's Administration budget is not balanced. A remark that resembles statements made by Treasurer John Kennedy in his opinion column in March. Morrish said there are holes in the budget, including selling state properties at inflated costs and leasing charity hospitals.
"There are a lot of issues in the governor's budget. Now we have to figure out how to go about implementing the ideas the governor has put on the table, or how we can change them."
Deciding what to keep in the budget and what to eliminate are importance factors, and he said fixing what is already in the budget is the only way to avoid making additional cuts to higher education and healthcare.
The proposed tax reform has been a topic of much discussion, but Morrish and Quinn said the discussion has not been between the legislature and the Governor.
"I wish I could know more about it to talk to you about it , but all I know is what I read in the papers. The governor has not discussed the tax reform with the legislature and what has been discussed has been very vague," said Morrish.
Quinn says what he does know about the tax reform, he doesn't agree with.
"I'm not a fan of the idea of swapping income tax for sales tax. I think it's an idea in theory ,and it's something I have a lot of doubts about."
Making changes to the state's tax system, which he believed to be solid, could negatively impact the state now and in the future.
"We have legal, ethical and moral obligations to represent the state's future generations, and one thing I will not do is vote for something that could put a hindrance on citizens more than it already has.
Other topics discussed during this year's meeting included Coastal Protection and Restoration, Medicaid and education.
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