Corrected the vote tally and inserted the correct screencap on HB778. The original screencap was for an amendment.
Today, the Louisiana House Ways and Means committee passed two bills that would be massive tax increases on most Louisianians. The committee approved HB 777 on a vote of 7-3 which would be a 10 cent per gallon increase of the gas tax. The committee also approved on a 15-0 vote HB 778 which would impose a new 1 cent sales tax. Both bills were written by State Rep. Karen St. Germain (D-Plaquemine), who is the chair of the House Transportation Committee.
Allegedly, these two taxes would be used for roads. But the state will likely to continue to fund projects that are purely parish and local for example.
Here’s who voted for HB 778, which was heard first:
Here’s the roll call on HB 777:
Only one Republican, Tom Willmott (R-Kenner) had the courage to vote no. Most Republicans sold out to the parish and regional chambers of commerce on these votes. This just goes to prove that being pro-free market, fiscally conservative, and pro-business do not always go together. Although in this case, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) opposed the bill.
One thing I cannot stand more than tax hiking politicians are politicians who are too cowardly to take a stand. Two Democrats, Regina Barrow (D-Baton Rouge) and Marcus Hunter (D-Monroe) were in the room to vote for the amendment that came previously, but didn’t vote on final passage. That’s a lack of leadership.
The bills head to the full House floor where they must get two-thirds support in order to pass.