Several candidates running for governor favor the repeal of Louisiana’s personal and corporate income taxes, claiming it will make the state a more attractive place for people to move and reverse the outmigration of recent college graduates. But a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities confirms what we’ve known for a long time: State tax levels have little effect on whether and where people move. In fact, the repeal of income taxes can make states less attractive destinations as the massive revenue loss results in damaging cuts to public education, health care and other areas that people prioritize. CBPP’s Michael Mazerov explains: 

The most common reasons cited for an interstate move in the survey conducted just prior to the beginning of the pandemic were job- and family-related, explaining more than two-thirds of such moves. … The minimal effects on migration from recent state tax cuts also undermine tax flight claims. Four of the five states that adopted the largest income tax cuts in the past two decades saw no more than marginal increases in in-migration and/or marginal declines in out-migration in the subsequent years. The fifth, North Carolina, has experienced strong in-migration coincident with its recent tax cuts, but it also experienced strong in-migration earlier when it was levying the highest income taxes in the Southeast.

Reality check: Most of the gubernatorial candidates in favor of repealing Louisiana’s personal and corporate income taxes, save state Rep. Richard Nelson, have not explained how they would tackle the difficult task of replacing the nearly $5 billion the taxes generate. 

The absurd argument for rolling back child labor laws
A conservative “parents’ rights” movement across the country has spearheaded opposition to vaccine mandates for students and the teaching of slavery in schools, and called for outright bans of certain books in school libraries. Now, some advocates are pushing to roll back child labor laws. But as The New York Times’ Jessica Grose explains, a new Arkansas law, which allows 14- and 15-year-olds to work without a permit signed by their parents, and others like it show the hypocrisy of the movement’s most recent target. 

Wouldn’t parents have more of a decision-making role, not less, if their explicit permission were required before their 14- and 15-year-olds could work up to 48 hours a week, six days a week? … And they [children] don’t need to be working so many hours a day that they can’t possibly keep up with schoolwork — which is supposed to be their primary occupation. Which is almost surely why I’m not seeing a genuine groundswell of parental demand for loosening child labor laws. As the Economic Policy Institute notes, the push for these laws is coming from industry groups. And when you learn details about the uptick in violations of child labor law, the parents’ rights argument seems even flimsier — often the most vulnerable children who are compelled to work long hours are separated from their parents.

Last month, investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor alleged that dozens of teens working at McDonald’s restaurants in the New Orleans area were subject to illegal working conditions.

Edwards directs board to hear clemency cases
Gov. John Bel Edwards directed the state Pardon Board to determine whether nearly all of the inmates on Louisiana’s death row should be granted clemency. The move was the latest development in a back and forth between Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry and other law enforcement officials over whether or not to take 57 state inmates off death row and give them life sentences. The Advocate’s Tyler Bridges has the latest:

In his letter to the Pardon Board members — Sheryl Ranatza, Tony Marabella, Bonnie Jackson, Curtis “Pete” Fremin and Alvin Roche Jr. — Edwards noted his opposition to the death penalty on pro-life grounds. Edwards appointed each one of them. “Beyond moral justifications, there are a number of reasons, whether based in law or science, that support the need for mercy while considering these applications,” Edwards wrote. “Over the last 20 years in Louisiana, there have been six exonerations and more than 50 reversals of sentences in capital cases.”

Criminalizing homelessness is not a solution
A new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows how federal support during the pandemic, such as emergency rental assistance, eviction moratoriums and child tax credits, helped keep millions of people in their homes. But homelessness is now on the rise as those pandemic-era benefits have expired and the price of rental housing and other basic necessities have skyrocketed. And as Route Fifty’s Molly Bolan explains, cities and states are now taking the counterproductive approach to criminalize homelessness. 

Policies that fine and jail people experiencing homelessness perpetuate the problem and fail to address the systemic issues that cause homelessness, like scarce affordable housing. Criminalizing  homelessness also draws resources away from initiatives that have proved to reduce homelessness.  “It’s much easier to pass a quick ordinance that says people can’t sleep on the corner and hide the costs of that in the jail budget, the police budgets, the courts budgets, even though it’s going to cost ultimately two to three times more than it would to just simply provide housing,” [Erica] Tars said

Number of the Day
$350,000 – The average salary for a doctor in the United States. U.S. doctors make significantly more than their global counterparts, which research has shown is being driven by a shortage of doctors in the country. (Source: Washington Post)