Whenever I catch a glimpse of the muddy waters of the mighty Mississippi River, I often think about why the City of New Orleans is located in this very spot. For almost 300 years, ships have fought the current and made their way to our port. In a matter of weeks, I, too, will be headed against the current, both metaphorically and literally, as I travel to Baton Rouge to serve in the Louisiana Legislature as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House and to fight for the City of New Orleans.
We are currently facing a mid-year budget shortfall of $303 million. This means that the State of Louisiana does not have enough money to pay for our basic expenses for the rest of the fiscal year. Without a special session, the Governor would be forced to make further cuts to higher education and health care- two areas that have already been cut to the bone. This should be our last resort. The Governor has called a special session so we can expand the areas where we legislators can make cuts so our most vulnerable don’t have to carry the brunt of our budget woes yet again. Years of fiscal mismanagement have put us in this dire place, and it’s time lawmakers do the hard work of really fixing the budget and reforming our tax code.
Join me in saying “no” to more cuts to higher education, hospitals, and services for people with disabilities. Together, we can turn the tide.