“The Recipe” Is One Of The Best Ideas To Come From The Louisiana Legislature

We’re given to understand this is the branchild of Rep. Brett Geymann (R-Lake Charles), who’s in his second stint as a state legislator. Geymann’s first time around in the Louisiana House of Representatives saw him as one of the original Fiscal Hawks who tormented then-governor Bobby Jindal over various abuses of the state budget process.

Obviously Geymann has a lot bigger challenge this time around given the filthy leviathan John Bel Edwards has built.

But with the colossal budget surplus an overtaxed Louisiana has produced for its government, not to mention the waterfall of federal largesse artificially pumping up our public sector, there are decisions to make on how to spend that money. Edwards and the Democrats, and some of the less-principled Republicans, think that blowing that money on pay raises for government officials is a good idea.

Remember when spending one-time money on recurring expenses was a bad thing? That was the line endorsed by Democrats when Jindal was in office. Geymann and the other Fiscal Hawks echoed it, but for a different reason: they wanted the budget cuts. The Democrats wanted tax increases. And when Edwards went into office they got everything they wanted and they’re still pushing for more spending.

“The Recipe” is a different idea, and a better one. From a press release by the Louisiana Freedom Caucus, which endorsed it…

The Louisiana Freedom Caucus (LAFC) is announcing its support for The Recipe for Fiscal Responsibility, a budget plan written by some conservative members of the House, working with the LAFC, that would pay off major debt to free up hundreds of millions of dollars in education funding, provide hundreds of millions of dollars for spending projects and save hundreds of millions in interest payments, all while leaving the budget spending caps in place. The Recipe received a unanimous vote of support from the LAFC membership.

What is the impact of The Recipe for Fiscal Responsibility?

  1. Paying $681.4 million to LASERS Individual Unfunded Accrued Liability (IUAL)
  2. It would pay off 100% of this existing debt
  3. It would free up approximately $153 million per year in state recurring funds for the next 5 years
  4. It would help reduce the projected future deficits
  5. Paying $589.4 million to TRSL Individual Unfunded Accrued Liability (IUAL)
  6. It would pay off 100% of this existing debt
  7. It would free up approximately $144.8 million per year in state recurring funds for the next 5 years which is split 73% for K through 12 and 27% for higher education
  8. It would help reduce the projected future deficits
  9. It would eliminate the local school board payment and free up local school board funds to use for teacher pay raises (on average of about $2,000 per teacher)
  10. We could reduce HB1 budget by approximately $200 million
  11. Paying an additional $200 million to the Rainy Day Fund
  12. It would increase the amount we could use from the Rainy Day Fund to offset future deficits
  13. It would activate a trigger to lower corporate and personal income rates
  14. It would leave $285 million to spend on infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges.

“It is irresponsible to bust the spending cap. We have a unique opportunity right now to pay off some of the crippling debt that is holding Louisiana back from attracting businesses and industries. We are losing population but we are spending more money. If we don’t act responsibly now, taxes collected from the hard-working people of Louisiana in the future will be overwhelmingly dedicated to paying off debt which will put us further behind other southern states,” said Alan Seabaugh, Chairman of the Louisiana Freedom Caucus.

There’s a graphic associated with this as well…

This is the kind of thing a responsible state legislature would pass and a responsible governor would sign. It would free up a huge amount of money which could be plowed into tax relief for ordinary Louisianans rather than debt service for public employee pensions. It’s practically impossible to argue against this.


But are Clay Schexnayder and Page Cortez, the men who run the Louisiana House and Senate, respectively, for it? Not so far they aren’t. They’re for, essentially, spending our money on hookers and blow.

That’s a terrible shame. In a time of rising interest rates, the simplest and most ironclad rule of financial management is that you pay off debt as fast as you can. Doing so means you have less overhead going forward.

Schexnayder and Cortez are both gone from the legislature after this year. Neither are likely to be elected to a significant political office ever again, though Schexnayder is trying to get himself elected Secretary of State. It would be nice if they acted like they care about the state’s fiscal future and support “the Recipe.”



Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article
Join the Conversation - Download the Speakeasy App.

Trending on The Hayride