2015 Legislative Issues
- Education and Healthcare Top Priorities
The Legislature took a stand against the catastrophic cuts projected by the $1.6 billion budget deficit. Higher ed institutions and healthcare providers will continue to service our citizens.
- Infrastructure Improvement Funds Protected
The Legislature passed a measure mandating that Transportation Trust Fund dollars meant for repairs and improvements are used to do just that - bolster the state’s crumbling transportation network.
- Small Businesses Protected from Tax Credit Reductions
To balance the budget, the Legislature scaled back some tax credits; most notably, the refundable portion of the inventory tax credit was reduced by 25%. The Legislature, however, kept the full credit in place for businesses that pay $10,000 or less in inventory taxes.
- Support Given to Healthcare Services
As a main driver of healthcare-related costs, the cigarette tax was the only direct tax increase of the 2015 session. The price per pack was raised by 50 cents, which still ranks Louisiana as the 15th lowest cigarette tax in the nation. The funds will be directly deposited into the new Tobacco Tax Medicaid Match Fund.
Elementary and Secondary Education Funding Increased
Language in HB 1, the state's operating budget, includes nearly $85 million in additional aid to local school districts, fully funding K-12 education. The additional dollars account for the continued funding of teacher raises approved in 2013, costs associated with students with disabilities, and costs associated with increased enrollment. This is the 3rd increase to the per pupil formula since 2008.
The public-private partnerships put into place to manage and deliver care at Louisiana’s former charity hospitals were fully funded by the Legislature this year.
200 additional NOW Waiver slots were opened up for the developmentally disabled in 2015.
Notable District 21 Projects in 2015 Capital Outlay Bill:
- $1.7 million in Priority 5 funding to the West St. Mary Port's SCLTC Industrial Park Campus project. This project is geared toward providing more opportunities for training for south Louisiana's workforce.
- $10.1 million in Priority 1 funding secured which fully funds the Emergency Operation Center currently under construction in Morgan City
- $7.1 million in Priority 1 and 5 funding for Terrebonne Recreation Districts 2 and 3 for the Terrebonne Sports Complex - Phase 1.
- $3.4 million in Priority 1 and 5 funding for slip dredging and improvements to the Terrebonne Port Commission's Multi-Use Complex.
- Nearly $12.3 million in funding for road improvements throughout District 21 in Iberia, St. Mary, Terrebonne, and Lafourche Parishes.
It has been a great pleasure and honor to serve as your Senator from District 21 for the past four years.
Please don't hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do for you or your family. I wish you all the best going forward. God bless.
Bret Allain 2015 Legislature Update (1009 KB)