Hello, I’m Eddie Lambert. I am honored to represent the people of District 18 in the Louisiana Senate.
As you may know, Gov. John Bel Edwards has called for a three-week special session, beginning Feb. 14, to address a $750 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year and an anticipated shortfall of $1.9 billion for fiscal year 2016-2017.
The budget problems we are experiencing are the result of years of bad budget practices, including reliance upon one-time money. Compounding the problems are lower-than-expected oil prices and reductions in state revenue due to numerous tax credits, deductions and tax exemptions for businesses and individuals.
To give you a better understanding of our state’s budget picture, I have posted a link to documents that give a brief recapof our state’s budget history and the history of actions affecting state revenue over the last seven years. I hope you will take time to review that information. The charts show the state budget has remained relatively flat over that time, but those budgets were heavily dependent upon one-time money.
As I see it, we have two options in addressing our fiscal crisis: 1) Make budget cuts without generating additional revenue, which could possibly lead to a combination of closures, reductions and layoffs that affect our colleges and universities, health care services, and other important state services and facilities; or 2) Make strategic cuts where available, streamline some state services, but also make
comprehensive changes to our tax system so everyone pays their fair share and the state ends its dependency on one-time money.
While the forecasts are daunting, I believe we must see this time as an opportunity for the Legislature to correct mistakes of the past.
I want and value your input on how to best deal with our state’s budget crisis. Please take a few minutes to answer a short survey I have prepared. A link to the survey is available on my home page.
Also, if you would like to receive periodic updates on legislative matters, please share with me your email address via my contact link.
I look forward to hearing from you and representing you interests. Together, we can make Louisiana better!
Eddie J. Lambert