My daughter Leslie is 36 years old and profoundly handicapped. She is developmentally four to six months of age or “infantile.” She requires total care and can offer no assistance in any way in her care. She was with us at home for 27 years until I reached my early 60s, and for 10 years now has been in a local supported independent living program. Her care and the waiver program that makes it possible are now threatened because of the current state budget shortfall. When Bobby Jindal was elected governor, there was a billion-dollar surplus in state funds. In eight years, that turned into a roughly two-billion-dollar deficit in spite of heavy reductions in funding for public education and every other state department.
I have a question. How is it that Louisiana can afford to give hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare to the oil and petrochemical industry, among others, and extraordinarily enough, millions more to the “Duck Dynasty” production company? And now my daughter Leslie, along with the rest of Louisiana’s most needy, vulnerable and helpless citizens find their care threatened in order that these recipients of so much of Louisiana’s treasure won’t be inconvenienced. Again, how is that?