2007 Legislative Session: 1 Day Left

June 28, 2007

Reported by: Associated Press

With one day left in Louisiana's legislative session, Republicans and Democrats are at odds over how much tax relief to give state residents at a time when high oil prices and post-hurricane spending have driven up state revenue.

Governor Kathleen Blanco has budged a bit, saying she would accept 180 (m) million dollars in tax relief. That's up from the $150 million limit she'd set earlier.

Still, Republicans want more.

On the House floor yesterday they hung signs on their desk computers saying: "My Mama Wants Tax Credits." House Democrats, saying too many tax cuts would jeopardize needed programs and construction projects, posted signs on their computers, saying "My Mama Wants Roads."

Representative Mike Walsworth, a Republican from West Monroe, says Blanco has many opportunities to cut spending and make way for tax relief. He notes that the budget includes over $8 million in pay raises for state jobs that haven't been filled yet.

If lawmakers approve tax breaks in excess of Blanco's limit, they would put the governor in an awkward spot, with two options: cut her own spending plans or veto tax cuts that lawmakers approved.