The 2013 Legislature: A session of missed opportunities

The 2013 state Legislative session is likely to be remembered more for what didn’t happen than for what did. Tax reform died in the first week of session, Legislators denied health coverage to 400,000 low-income Louisianans and a hard-fought budget compromise failed to address the state’s structural deficit.

On the bright side, lawmakers found money for a modest teacher pay raise, and mostly resisted the temptation to further erode the state tax base with new tax breaks.

These and other highlights and lowlights from the session are in a new report by the Louisiana Budget Project.

“Unfortunately, we are still underfunding higher education, health care and other critical services in a misguided effort to remain revenue-neutral,” said LBP Director Jan Moller. “Legislators also relied on uncertain revenue sources to fill gaps, which could result in another round of harmful mid-year budget cuts.”

For more details, read LBP’s full analysis of the 2013 Louisiana Legislative Session.

They include details about safety-net programs like Medicaid, tax credits for low-income workers and educational scholarships and help promote a better understanding of how safety-net programs affect different communities across our state.
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