FISCAL CLIFF SPECIAL SESSION #3
The crucial third special session of the Louisiana Legislature for 2018 starts on Monday, June 18. The posted end date is Wednesday, June 27, but we hope the legislators see their way clear to get their one job done and adjourn having raised sufficient revenue to fix the Fiscal Cliff.
What's at stake? The Governor has signed HB1, but there is not sufficient revenue to fund everything that is in HB1. LDH will not be cut, but DCFS and LDE will be cut if additional revenue is not raised. If they renew a half penny of the existing one-penny sales tax that expires on June 30, DCFS and LDE will have a standstill budget from last year and will not face any additional cuts. If they only renew one-third of the existing one-penny, then both agencies (along with all of the others except for LDH) will have cuts, they just won't be as bad as if they do not renew any portion of the expiring penny. Read the Legislative Fiscal Office Report on the Current Budget here.
Make no mistake, the stakes are high. If they do not renew any of the penny, DCFS will take a 24.2% cut resulting in the termination of the SNAP program in Louisiana. If LDE is cut, they will cut the LA4 program, and there will be no hope of any state general dollars going to the CCAP waitlist. If the Juvenile Justice system is cut, judges have said they will put the kids that come into their court into the child welfare system at DCFS, meaning the already taxed DCFS caseloads will get even worse. The budget is written in such a way that any funds that are raised short of the half-penny goal will result in a pro-rata increase to each agency. Tell your legislators that PRO-RATA is PRO-NADA because agencies like DCFS cannot do anything with a portion of the funding they need to run DCFS, they will simply shut the whole program down when they run out of funds.
Below are some links to documents that we hope you can use to make the case about the impact of SNAP cuts to each legislator's district. We will post other information pages as they become available. Don't just use these on legislators, use these to educate your neighbors, friends, church members, Facebook acquaintances and others about the true impact of the budget cuts that will happen if legislators do not renew at least a half of the expiring penny.
We will continue to send out information briefings and post them here for additional information during the special legislative session. Start calling on legislators this week in their home districts to let them know what is at stake for the renewal of revenue.
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