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LA GOP Leadership Stalls On Certifying Economic Forecast

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Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

LA BUDGET FORECASTING STALLED -  The latest meeting of Louisiana’s income forecasting panel signaled a lack of cooperation between  the conservative House Republican leaders who regularly clashed with Gov. John Bel Edwards during his first term-- again disrupting the Democratic governor’s  budget  plans as his second term is about to begin.

As reported by the Associated Press-  during last Thursday’s Revenue Estimating Conference --conservatives in the Louisiana legislature  refused to certify how much money is available for the upcoming fiscal year.  This keeps the Edwards administration  from  accurately estimating how much to allocate in the 2020 /2021 budget proposal he’ll offer to lawmakers in February, and instead he’ll have to use older budget numbers  adopted last April. That could hamstring the governor’s efforts to propose increased spending on early childhood education, K-12 teacher pay raises and for college campuses.  The returning feud over state revenue projections served as a reminder that while Edwards is celebrating a reelection victory, the GOP leadership’s stalling an updated revenue estimate,  underscores little cooperation for the time being and  will  force  lawmakers   to enter the next legislative  session without knowing how much money they can spend.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.