Editor’s Note: A guest post from State Rep. Dodie Horton (R-Haughton)…
If you think of this legislative session as a book, we are now entering the third, and hopefully final, chapter of this year’s edition. It is safe to say that the first two chapters have been historic. And, the third chapter, which includes the special session in which we just entered, will likely be one of the most contentious sessions many of us have ever faced. For this reason, I wanted to give you an update on where we have been, where we are now, and where I personally want to be after this special session.
Chapter one – the first special session: During the 2016 First Special Session, numerous tax increases were proposed. For example, a one-cent sales tax on goods and services was proposed and eventually passed. Also, a bill that expanded the franchise tax which would lead to higher taxes on businesses was proposed and passed. I am proud to have voted against these taxes. These taxes are a massive burden on working families and small businesses. Because of my votes against taxes, some have labeled me as a member of the ‘Gang of No.’ I wear this as a badge of honor because it means I have upheld my campaign promise that I would be the VOICE of District 9 and would not support growing the size of government.
Chapter two – the 2016 Regular Session: This past regular session, the legislature vetted more than 1,600 bills. We passed several of them that, when enacted, will make our community safer, reinforce Louisiana as a premier pro-life state, and enhance our Second Amendment rights. However, the state budget was the main issue that drove most of the conversations around the Capitol. While in those conversations and with my votes, I have worked to fund TOPS, protect the NOW and Children’s Choice waivers, and have worked to ensure our medical school has adequate funding.
Chapter three – the second special session: The governor has issued a ‘menu of options’ for raising revenue this coming session. The options he has presented include raising the income tax brackets and getting rid of the personal federal tax deduction. In my opinion, these options are unacceptable and would put an undue burden on hardworking families and small businesses. Raising additional taxes after already raising them once is wrong; raising taxes after the budget has grown $2 billion this year is ridiculous.
I am honored to represent District 9 in the House, and I will continue working to be a strong, conservative voice in Baton Rouge for my constituents.