Last year, sensing a continued budgetary crisis, Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed a task force whose members included recognized experts in law, economics, labor, business, and civil service to study and offer more stable revenue and spending solutions. In January of this year, the final draft of its report was published — “Comprehensive Solutions for a Sustainable Tax and Spending Structure” (HCR 11). The accomplished goal offered provisions to eliminate the semi-annual legislative scramble to find band-aid solutions for budgetary deficits. Yet, weeks into the current session with legislators’ hands wringing, there is barely a peep from the governor or the legislators about the task force’s findings and recommendations. True, some the suggestions in the report would require not only legislative approval but also constitutional changes (vote of the people). But if the legislators and governor accepted long-term fiscal reform as a higher priority than personal political gain, I suspect the reformation could be a refreshing sale to their constituents. I wait with interest to see if the report's contents are shelved or debated.
James L. Nelson