Chronic House vote-changing unabated Tuesday, May 12 2015 

Sausage Factory

Just another day at the sausage factory

At the end of each day while the lege is in session, members of the House queue-up at the House podium and ask the Clerk of the House to change how they voted on various legislation.

They change from “Yea” to “Nay” from “Nay” to “Yea” and the worst of all change from “Absent” to “Yea” or “Nay.”

Thus a lege could arrive in the House after a full day’s voting on various measures and vote on each of measures already debated, passed or killed; even though he had been there only five minutes.

In other words, the leges don’t have to be present to listen to the legislation presented, much less read it or understand it before voting their constituents wishes.  Yeah, there are House Rules, but they are routinely suspended.

Theoretically and legally, but not ethically or morally, 53 members of the House could show up in the morning at 9:00 AM to convene the session; the remaining 52 could show up five minutes before adjournment and cast their votes.

I know, Bobby Jindal promised to end voting changing in the House.  But like almost everything else he said, he did another.

The Senate does not allow vote changing, period.  It’s not that important, however, a majority vote exactly the way Senate President John Alario tells them.

You won’t about read this in the “paid media” although reporters are sitting right beside the podium while it is going down, but it is all archived in audio and video on the lege website.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

The facts on lege tax votes Monday, May 11 2015 

taxpayer-screwed

What we got on Thursday

Initially, I thought the paid media would report what the Louisiana House did on Thursday, but they  didn’t.  Here’s my effort to explain:

–The House passed 10 Bills raising your taxes.

–The total extracted from you and me was approximately $675 MILLION.

What you haven’t been told

–Only 5 of the 10 bills received the constitutionally required two-thirds vote.  It means if challenged in court, those tax increases will be eliminated.  This could happen at any time after bills become law.  There is no prescription on challenging the constitutionality of a state law.  This year or 5 years from now, the taxes can be challenged and the state will be indebted to the taxpayers for up to $500 MILLION.

–One of the tax increases is effective only until 60 days after the 2016 Regular Session.

–Most of the taxes are effective for only 18 months or until the tax is phased-out.

–Only one tax is permanent that brings in $86 MILLION

Summary

In other words, the House paid down a structural deficit of $1.8 BILLION by $143 MILLION.  The deficit remains at $1.6 BILLION.

The fiscal problem we have been facing for the last 7 years has been “kicked down the road” until after the fall elections.

Thursday’s tax increases were to deceive you into thinking they did something so you will vote for the same leges again this fall.

Future

For the future, you can expect constant fiscal crises, reduced governmental services and regular increases in your taxes.

Action needed

Friday, I began sending out the Record Votes of the House members.

If you don’t like what the leges did, save the votes so when your leges run for reelection you can vote against them.

We don’t need term limits.  We need an informed public that every 4 years will vote out leges who don’t vote as we want.

We need accountability. Otherwise expect more of the same.

“Never mistake motion for action.” –Ernest Hemingway

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

Robideaux makes it easier to increase taxes Wednesday, May 6 2015 

Robideaux

The Tax Man

[Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Joel Robideaux] said the threshold for passing many of the tax bills will be lower than expected, only a simple majority vote, not the two-thirds vote normally required to raise taxes and fees. Advocate, May 5, 2015

Robideaux is basing that on legal fiction contained in a 1993 Attorney General’s Opinion.

An Attorney General’s opinion serves only one purpose; to cover the asses of public officials so they can do things that are of questionable legality without being found guilty of malfeasance. Otherwise, it’s no better than my legal opinion in a court.

Without getting bogged-down in legalese, Robideaux believes the general provision in the Louisiana Constitution about suspensions of laws (La. Const. Art. III, Section 20) requiring the same vote to pass a law to suspend it.   The tax credits, exemptions, etc. only required a majority of the leges.

However, La. Const. Art. VII, Section 2 says it takes a 2/3’s vote to increase taxes.  That provision is glossed over by the AG Opinion while saying the general overrules the specific law.

Louisiana jurisprudence says the opposite. When there is a conflict a specific law supersedes a general law. Perschall v. State, 697 So.2d 240 (La., 1997)

The AG opinion was written prior to the above cited case. The AG cites no case law to support his opinion.

The leges don’t give a damn about the constitution because they know most citizens don’t have the resources to litigate.  Even if someone does litigate, the matter won’t be decided before the suspension expires two months after the 2016 Regular Session.

At that point, the only recourse is for a taxpayer to sue the state to get the illegal taxes returned.   Assuming the taxpayer wins the lawsuit; they cannot force the lege to appropriate the funds to pay the judgment.

The leges can’t get a 2/3’s vote to increase our taxes so they are going to use legal fiction to increase our taxes by a majority vote.

Hold on to your wallet!

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

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