Senate approves budget proposal, more work needs to be done
BATON ROUGE - On the second to last day of a two week special legislation session, the Senate Floor advances a budget compromise to offset a looming fiscal cliff. The state is losing $1 billion in temporary taxes that expire on June 30.
“It will include some new taxes that have been presented so far,” said Sen. Eric LaFleur while presenting the bill.
The bill creates more than $500 million in revenue.
LaFleur said, “$540 million in proposed taxes and $53 million in annual money that comes as a settlement from the BP oil spill.”
Part of those proposed taxes would keep half of the one cent sales tax that is expiring. This allows the budget to fully fund higher education and TOPS, which have been on the chopping blocks. Some lawmakers, though, feel more could be done.
Sen. John Milkovich wanted to cut part of LSU’s budget, the Department of Education’s budget, and the state’s movie tax credit to increase revenue.
“Savings of this could ultimately be $100 million a year,” he said talking about ridding the movie tax break. However, the majority of Milkovich’s ideas were shot down.
Now, legislation moves to the House floor. Legislators need to vote on the budget proposal, which House leaders have voiced they want a lower budget, and a tax measure to support the budget proposal also needs to be approved. This is all while the clock ticks down on the special legislation session.