Bigger share of oil and gas tax revenues up for grabs - but will LA get them?
You can even put aside the lack of public input because there is no specific plan of action.
Consider for a moment that in all likelihood the last chance for LA to get a bigger share of offshore oil and gas tax revenues is during the current "lame duck" session.
Consider that one of LA's biggest arguments is for a bigger share of the offshore revenues is because LA's suffers the environmental and other costs of producing so much of the oil and gas that is used by the rest of America. As a result we have allegedly lost miles of the coastal wetlands which act as a barrier to future natural catastrophes. According to the governor and the leges, stopping the coastal erosion and rebuilding the wetlands is a top priority for our state.
Consider the state currently is faced with an "embarrassment of riches" of at least $1.6 BILLION and probably closer to $2 BILLION. Most of which is a result of the disasters that hit our state.
Consider the spending priorities being proposed for the upcoming special session: 1) Pay raises for all manner of public employees. 2) Paying off the debt (at great extra cost) of a poorly thought-out, actuarially unsound, state-run, casualty insurance program. 3) Writing rebate checks to all who were over-taxed to pay for the deficit in the state-run insurance program. Laughable when one considers that a $760 Million contractor cannot get the checks out to a handful of people. 4) Selling off the remainder of the Tobacco Settlement. 5) Money for highways and bridges based on politics and not priority. And finally, 6) who knows what.
Consider the message that the agenda for this special session is sending to Congress.
Not one dime of the "embarrassment of riches" is being spent on coastal erosion, flood protection or anything directly related to preparing out state for future catastrophes.
Despite having already appropriated over $10 BILLION to reimburse the citizens of the state for their losses due to the negligence of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita only 44 checks have been written. Despite the fact that that $6 BILLION of that money was made available 11 months ago.
We are in effect telling Congress that we don't consider coastal erosion and flood protection a high priority when it comes to spending OUR funds. It's just a priority for THEIR funds.
We are telling Congress that we just want more money even though we have no sense of priorities or urgency for the monies that they have already sent us. We are telling Congress that while we can't spend the money that they already provided us, we want more.
Given the above, if I was another state I would a hard time reconciling giving us more money especially it would mean giving up money that could be spent in my state.
Maybe it's just that Governor Blanco and the leges think that the Congressmen are as dumb as they think we LA citizens are.
My advice to the governor is not to call the session.
It's not too late to save us from another national embarrassment.
It's not too late to stop the wrong message to Congress during the "lame duck" session.
It's not too late to save the taxpayers a few dollars and doing all the things you plan to do all of which can be done in the 2007 Regular Session next spring.
It just might show Congress that we understand the folly of wasting the taxpayers' money.
It's not too late, governor, but it soon will be.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
It’s been an up and down season for the Hahnville Lady Tigers.
St. Charles Parish residents might see a familiar face while tuning in to...
The Destrehan Wildcats are now 3-2 in district play after victories over Thibodaux...
Four teens were arrested in connection with 15 auto burglaries that occurred last...
Originally opened in 2005, the Satellite Center will celebrate 10 years at a...
The falling price of oil has resulted in low prices at the pump—in some cases, less...
Dealership Service without Dealership Prices. We service all domestic & foreign cars, trucks & SUV's. We are certified by ASE, ICAR and AAA for your peace of mind.
Luling native’s culinary skills on display at national cook-off - 2289 views
A Nicholls State graduate found herself with a ticket to Chicago this past Saturday after her red snapper-based recipe qualified her for the San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition.