St. Charles Herald-Guide

Do leges think that they are invisible?

C.B. Forgotston - July 9, 2010

The mirrors in the Capitol Building must be broken. Either that or the leges think they are invisible.

Rep. Jim Fannin is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee (The budget-writing committee.).   He is also the author of House Bill No. 1 which funds the state’s Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11.

Here’s what Fannin had to say about his own legislation:
[Fannin] estimates that $2 billion in one-time dollars were plugged into the budget bill by the Senate. One-time dollars are funds that will not materialize again in future years, akin to using savings to pay monthly household expenses - Baton Rouge Advocate.

“I don’t see how the citizens of the state can be happy,” Fannin said.

He said the state missed an opportunity to start making decisions that will help manage the budget in the future.
“We really have a flood coming,” Fannin said.

A central part of the House and Senate budget dispute involved planning for the “cliff year” ­ when the loss of a billion dollars in federal stimulus and Medicaid money and other one-time state revenue would leave a crater in the budget.

While acknowledging that the budget he passed is a disaster which will make the public unhappy, he pushed his colleagues to support it.

At least now we know who’s driving the bus as the state runs off the fiscal cliff — Jim Fannin and a majority of his House colleagues.

Spitting in the eye of the people
State Sen. Sherri Cheek said it is not uncommon for legislation to become vehicles for multiple purposes.
Despite that, the LA Constitution Article III, Section 15(A) states: Every bill, except the general appropriation bill and bills for the enactment, rearrangement, codification, or revision of a system of laws, shall be confined to one object.

In other words, the leges pass laws all the time with multiple objects regardless that such laws are unconstitutional.

The leges knowingly do this and the governor knowingly doesn’t veto the legislation for one reason.  They know the average person in Louisiana doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to litigate the matter to the State Supreme Court.

Such practices are just another case of our lawmakers and our governor spitting in our eyes.