Are Some Members Of The LA Legislature Beginning To Speak Out Against The TOPS Hostage Game?

It could be so – Rep. Jay Morris posted this on his Facebook earlier…

Having House members call John Alario out for his shameless Simon LeGree act on John Bel Edwards’ behalf in the Senate is productive, particularly given that it’s in the House where the fight on further tax increases in the special session starting next week will be decided – and the House is going to have to learn how to effectively refuse him. They’re going to have to beat him at the legislative game, probably through brinksmanship on the budget.

But we aren’t quite getting anywhere until some members of the Senate begin to stand up to Alario. He’s not Harry Reid circa 2012, after all – he’s nominally a Republican, although he couldn’t care less about honoring that label, but more importantly the majority of that body is Republican. Enough of them are frauds with that “R” next to their names that any statement to the effect the Senate is a Republican-dominated legislative body will require an asterisk next to it, but nonetheless that party affiliation was a certain implied promise to the voters.

And interestingly, the results of the Southern Media and Opinion Research poll yesterday show that the voters would certainly prefer somebody work to properly prioritize state spending.

A few key findings from that survey

When these same voters were asked whether they think that the state’s financial problems were caused primarily by too much spending or not enough revenue, 63% of the respondents said “too much spending.” Only 26% said “not enough revenue.”

All likely voters – spending 63%/26% lack of revenue
Republicans – spending 75%/15% lack of revenue
Democrats – spending 54%/35% lack of revenue
Others – spending 68%/23% lack of revenue

Despite voters’ opposition to raising more taxes (57% of all voters and 74% of Republicans), the governor has now called a second special legislative session for June 6 in an attempt to raise another $600 million taxes. These tax increases will be in addition to over $1 billion in new taxes raised during the first special session this year. The call for the June session includes provisions to raise a significant amount of taxes from Louisiana businesses.

When asked whether they think Louisiana businesses already pay too much in state taxes, 42% of those polled think “too much,” while 21% say “not enough.” About 29% of the voters think businesses pay the right amount.

Further, 52% of the voters think increased taxes on Louisiana businesses will result in job losses.

Republicans 71%
Democrats 40%
Others 54%

Big majorities of likely voters (72%) also think that increasing taxes will keep some businesses from coming to Louisiana. Over two-thirds (69%) think increasing taxes will cause businesses already in Louisiana to cut back.

When asked if they are more or less likely to vote to reelect their legislators if they voted to raise another $600 million in taxes in a special session, 55% of all sampled said “less likely,” whereas 33% said “more likely.” Republican voters are 74% less likely to reelect their legislators if they vote for more taxes.

Of course, that poll also gave Edwards’ approval rating as 50 percent positive vs. 40 percent negative, so the governor’s people could certainly crow about how that’s a reflection the voters support his efforts to “save” the state from the “damage” Bobby Jindal did. That’s what politicians do; they spin. The fact is, the folks don’t want more taxes. And if the legislators in the House are willing to stand up to the governor and his aging overseer in the Senate, they have a chance to win the battle that begins next week.

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