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Legislators just donít get the message

By C.B. Forgotston -   May 23, 2013

One of the few things that almost all voters in Louisiana agree on is that we have too many elections.

The votersí dislike of the never-ending stream of elections annually has manifested itself in poorer and poorer voter participation.

The matter of too many elections and dismal turnout of voters has been discussed often by the leges. They even eliminated a couple of the annual elections.

Despite those previous discussions, the leges appear to suffer from poor memories.

Thursday, the House and Governmental Affairs Committee, without objection, approved HB 522 calling for a special statewide election for Oct. 19 of this year.

The only thing that will be on the statewide ballot this fall will be proposed constitutional amendments.

Not only is another unnecessary election being held, it will cost us taxpayers an extra $4.3 million not previously budgeted.

If the leges donít approve this election, the vote on the amendments will be held in conjunction with the statewide Congressional elections in the fall of 2014.

This waste of our hard-earned tax dollars is particularly egregious in light of the stateís drastic cuts to higher education and healthcare.

The legislation calling the election was approved without a single objection from the House and Governmental Affairs Committee members.

To see a list of the committee members who supported the special election and $4.3 Million expenditure, visit www.house.louisiana.gov/H_Cmtes/H_CMTE_HG.asp.

It was especially interesting that Rep. Steve Pugh of Ponchatoula, who claims to be a supporter of Southeastern Louisiana University and Lallie Kemp Hospital in Tangipahoa Parish, decided that another special election was more important than funding for these two institutions.

This action is another example of the fact that the state doesnít have a revenue problem, but a spending problem. Poor decisions like this one are found throughout the state budgets.

HB 522 next goes to the House Floor for consideration by the entire House. If you believe that $4.3 million could be better spent on other state needs contact your Representative and tell them to vote against HB 522.

If your lege doesnít vote against this wasteful election donít let them get away with "we donít have the money" the next time some important state function in your area goes wanting.

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