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tiggerpolice 06-24-2005 07:34 AM

Lawmakers Pass Budget
Lawmakers Pass Budget

Yunji de Nies

June 23, 2005, 11:50 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE -- Today at the end of the two month session lawmakers passed an $18.7 billion budget for the 2006-7 fiscal year. Governor Blanco said, during the session the state was forced to make some very tough choices.

"We had enough money in the end to cover health care or teacher pay but not both," Governor Blanco said.

The state increased healthcare spending, focusing on the uninsured but did not come up with money to give teachers the pay raise Blanco had pushed for throughout the session.

"Our teachers lost," Blanco said.

The governor wanted a one dollar tax hike on cigarettes to fund a teacher pay raise but the proposal didnot get enough support to make it to a vote. Instead, lawmakers agreed to give teachers a$530 bonus next year.

"When you aim high, and this was aiming very high, you don't always succeed on your first attempt," Blanco said.

The one time $530 dollars bonus is just half of what the governor had hoped to give teachers. Republican and Democrat lawmakers both agree it is not enough money, but they disagree on who is to blame.

"The blame is on those who oppose the one dollar increase on cigarette tax, those are the people who are to blame because that was a solution that was before us," said Representative Aurthur Morrell (D-New Orleans).

"I think we could have done a lot better, I think the plans were there to do a lot better and there was just a reluctance from the administration to look at any alternatives other than raising taxes," said Representative Steve Scalise (R-Jefferson).

Lawmakers also failed to find a permanent source of money for the Saints, though they did pass a separate bill that allocated some money from slot machine revenue at the fairgrounds to go to the team. That money will not start coming in until 2007 and will be millions short of the state's obligation. The governor says it may be easier to find permanent funding if the Saint's would agree to stay for at least another 20 years.

To pay the Saints the $15 million they owe by next month, the state run Superdome Commission is taking out a loan. The state does not have a plan for the 2006 payment. Slot machines at the Fairgrounds are expected to raise between six and 12 million dollars starting in 2007, but not all of that money will go to the Saints. Some of it will also go to pay the Hornets and fund projects in City Park.
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frankeefrank 06-24-2005 06:02 PM

RE: Lawmakers Pass Budget
the state's legislature is full of idiots... They're paying for two ****ty teams

CheramieIII 06-24-2005 06:44 PM

RE: Lawmakers Pass Budget
I would assume frankee that your not really a Saint's fan or if I am wrong please explain your statement. Do you think that the state doesn't derive any revenues at all from either team and should not have to pay them or what?

FireVenturi 06-26-2005 06:25 PM

Re: RE: Lawmakers Pass Budget

Originally Posted by frankeefrank
the state's legislature is full of idiots... They're paying for two ****ty teams

whether crappy or not they still genrate $$$$ for the state. oh yeah and that damn thing called a Super Bowl. So, are u serious??????

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