This doesn’t need too much of an introduction, as by now our readers are well aware of Rep. Alan Seabaugh’s last-minute filibuster which broke up the possibility of a half-billion dollar tax increase dragging through an exhausted Louisiana House of Representatives as Monday’s legislative special session drew to a close.
Here was a taste of that, thanks to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ lackeys at Rebuild Louisiana who were still seething over the implosion of their hoped-for tax increase…
What kind of governing is this? Instead of letting the House vote to fund Higher Education, TOPS, Go Grants, Corrections, Children and Family Services, Law Enforcement, The DOJ, Veterans Affairs and other services, GOP Rep Seabaugh "ran out the clock." #lalege pic.twitter.com/MbJ2tvRkQ3
— Rebuild Louisiana (@Rebuild_LA) June 5, 2018
Seabaugh drove back to Shreveport late last night amid the furor over the session’s end, but he was well-rested enough this morning to give a rather spirited interview to the KEEL-AM radio crew about taxes and budgets and why that tax increase needed to be killed…
And he’s right, of course. Louisiana has its largest budget in state history, or very close to it, with the instrument that was passed yesterday even without the tax increase Seabaugh killed (and by the way, there was a Republican tax increase which also met a bitter end on Monday – that one died more as a result of action by the Legislative Black Caucus, which somehow escapes mention by Louisiana’s legacy media). If there are things in that budget people don’t like, as in the case of the TOPS program funded only at 70 percent or there being a $96 million cut to higher education, then the real debate needs to be whether Louisiana is doing an efficient job of marshaling its resources to meet those priorities.
After all, the $13 billion Louisiana Department of Health budget was somehow fat enough to cough up a $40 million savings at the last minute during yesterday’s budget negotiations after weeks and months of a constant narrative that any money turned loose from LDH would result in the elderly being evicted from nursing homes. That revelation should have shut down the legislative session right then and there, with House Republicans taking it – and the veto by Edwards of three transparency bills aimed at shedding light on how the state’s executive branch actually spends its money – as a sign that the entire budget debate is a fraudulent magic act designed to steal as much in taxes as Louisianans through our elected officials are willing to put into the pot.
But that didn’t happen, so it was up to Seabaugh to intercept the would-be game winning touchdown pass at the goal line in the closing seconds. Which he’s happy to do, but won’t be around for much longer if he’s confirmed for the federal judgeship in Alexandria he’s being nominated to fill later this year.
It’s going to be necessary for the House – and Senate, for that matter – to generate more Seabaughs to fill his role. We anxiously await their coming.