Yesterday, I posed a question to my colleagues in the Legislature: What are we doing here?
What are we doing here if we’re not prepared to make the hard decisions? What are we doing here if we aren’t going to find a compromise? What are we doing here if we won’t find a permanent solution to the structural budget problems that have plagued our State for years?
What are we doing here if we aren’t determined to do the best we can for the people of Louisiana?
Yesterday, we came together as a body with the hopes to vote on real solutions because this is what we were elected to do. But instead of taking up legislation that addresses the full shortfall and promises permanent solutions, we were presented with temporary fixes that repeat the same mistakes that got us into this position in the first place. Mistakes that will almost certainly reduce our credit rating. Mistakes that will continue to put our hospitals, our children and our colleges in harm’s way. After hours of meetings working towards compromise failed, enough of my colleagues and I refused to repeat those same mistakes and we defeated the legislation.
Today I’m hoping for more because I know why I’m here.
I am here to propose and support legislation that puts people over politics. Legislation that will bring stability in the form of permanent solutions that are broad based and address not only the sales tax, but also credits, exemptions and rebates in the tax code so we can have a balanced approach. This is the kind of stability that will allow our business community to flourish and make strategic, long-term decisions about their future here in Louisiana. This is the stability that will allow us to be competitive and offer our students the opportunities they deserve. Providing excellent educational opportunities and access to high quality healthcare is the smart thing to do. These are among our most lucrative of investments. Investing in our people will reap long term benefits, not just for the individuals impacted, but for us all.
To me, the way forward is clear, the direction is obvious. We must go there together. I’m ready to do what I came here to do.
To watch the debate on the House floor today, click here.