Budget, movies, taxes on Monday's session agenda
BATON ROUGE- The state budget is a top priority at the Capitol Monday. The Senate Finance Committee was in session on Saturday trying to get some work done on the state budget. The state is in a $1.2 billion hole.
So far, lawmakers have managed to close the gap by making some changes to taxes and credit programs. However, state programs that provide services for those with disabilities remain in limbo while funds are being worked out. It would take about $14 million dollars to help fully cover disability programs.
State lawmakers will also discuss a bill that would get rid of sales tax holidays for next year. The bill's author says the budget is in too much disarray, and the unpredictable oil prices make the budget difficult to keep around. He also said higher education and healthcare cuts could have been lessened if more sales tax had been collected.
A proposal that could bring more movies to Baton Rouge is also on Monday's session agenda. Lawmakers will address a possible new law that encourages filmmakers to shoot in Louisiana. The proposal would give producers an extra 5% in tax credits to shoot in any city other than New Orleans.
About 70% of the state's television and movie production takes place in New Orleans.
"A criticism of the film industry in Louisiana is that not enough of Louisiana is seeing action," said Patrick Mulhearn, executive producer of Celtic Studios. "We get our fair share of production here in Baton Rouge, but it could certainly be better and more consistent."