It is clear that the priorities of our governor and the majority of the Legislature do not lie with the hardworking people of Louisiana. Claiming to have to make painful decisions because of a budget shortfall, they have gutted higher education, cut health care benefits, refused to accept the Medicaid expansion, refused to raise the minimum wage and left the state with a huge deficit dependent upon one-time funding for ongoing expenses. And yet they reject other forms of revenue that would help a desperate economic situation — rejecting a tobacco tax, refusing to consider a tourist industry tax hike and killing a lawsuit against oil and gas companies, including BP (if Jindal signs it). It is not hard to figure out that wealthy special interest groups and their lobbies have the Legislature and the governor in their pockets.

Maureen E. Shea

associate professor

New Orleans