Terrible Bill O’ The Day: Forcing LSU Fans To Pony Up For A Choo-Choo Train

Most people think Mack Cormier, one of the few white Democrats left in the Louisiana legislature, is dead meat this fall. It seems like Cormier, who represents District 105 (which includes Plaquemines Parish and parts of the West Bank), is doing his best to insure that fate with a new bill.

Cormier is in the legislature because voters thought Republican Chris Leopold was a little out of touch for that district. It ought to be a Republican seat, and while it’s too early to say for sure, the chances are pretty good that it’ll flip.

And here’s HB 621, Cormier’s big, weighty bill for the 2023 Regular Session, the one he’s staking his political future on…

Proposed law levies a tax through Dec. 31, 2027, of $1 on each sale of a ticket for admission to a football game in East Baton Rouge Parish at Louisiana State University or Southern University. Requires the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College or the Board of Supervisors of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College to collect the tax from the purchaser of the ticket and remit the tax to the secretary of the Dept. of Revenue on forms prescribed by the secretary.

Proposed law provides that the tax shall not be subject to any tax, fee, or assessment, nor shall it be considered revenue of the universities. Provides that the revenues so collected shall be remitted by the secretary immediately upon receipt to the treasurer.

Proposed law creates as a special fund in the state treasury, the New Orleans and Baton Rouge Passenger Rail Fund (fund). Requires the treasurer after compliance with the requirements of present law relative to the Bond Security and Redemption Fund (Const. Art. VII, Sec. 9(B)) to pay an amount equal to the monies received by the state treasury from the avails of the tax levied pursuant to proposed law into the fund. Provides that subject to appropriation by the legislature, monies in the fund shall be used solely for the development and support of passenger rail service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

First of all, this bill would raise about $700,000 a year from LSU (100,000 or so tickets per game, seven home games a year) and maybe $80,000 from Southern (five home games a year at around 16,000 or so tickets sold). That kind of money is a drop in the bucket compared to the losses a passenger rail line from New Orleans to Baton Rouge would suffer, so you’re going to do zero good whatsoever in making the choo-choo train viable.

Second, Cormier is now pissing off everybody by targeting both LSU and Southern. Why not Tulane and the Saints?

Oh, because he thinks his constituents are Tulane and Saints fans but not LSU or Southern fans. Riiight.


And all of this is beside the point, which is that this bill is an admission that passenger rail between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is a boondoggle that will not pay for itself and shouldn’t be imposed on us by crooked and stupid government officials.

At some point you’ve got to wonder if we shouldn’t impose IQ testing on state legislators. We’ve got some real morons in that body.

In Cormier’s case, perhaps this bill gives the voters the information they didn’t have when they let him into the legislature.

His bill isn’t likely to get very far, but before it’s voted down in committee we wanted to make sure that Mack Cormier received his due. So he’s today’s recipient of the Terrible Bill O’ The Day award.



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