The legislatures of Louisiana are in session at the present moment attempting to find answers for the state’s budget crisis. Like other states, the budget of Louisiana has been in shambles for years, as legislatures try to find solutions suitable for all citizens. The topic of discussion stem from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s tax swap plan, House Speaker Chuck Kleckley’s backing alternate state budget negotiations, education, and other issues facing the state of Louisiana at this present moment in time. Decisions are being made, which should benefit the citizens of Louisiana. Gov.
Bobby Jindal’s tax plan proposal would phase out the states income tax and corporate tax by raising the sales tax throughout the state of Louisiana. In Jindal’s vision, cutting the states income tax and corporate tax in exchange of raising the sales tax, would generate more money for the state of Louisiana. He believed the proposal was part of the answer to budget crisis plaguing Louisiana, but other legislatures did not agree with the proposal. Legislature’s believed the proposal would weigh in to harsh on the poor and benefit the wealthy citizens of Louisiana only.
The scrutiny of the tax plan caused Jindal to park the tax proposal (Adelson, 2013). Instead of going forward with the proposal, Jindal asked for the cooperation of legislatures in phasing out the state’s income tax. House Speaker Chuck Kleckley reversed his decision on spending cuts, by backing other legislatures in tax cuts that would help the state’s budget. Kleckley is one representative among others that opposed Jindals plan to phase out the state’s income tax proposal. Kleckley’s change of heart would bring millions of dollars back to the state’s budget and open doors for other new programs that would benefit he state.
Kleckley and other legislatures have agreed on a deal that would replace $490 million dollars in the state’s $24. 9 billion dollar budget with cuts (Adelson, 2013). This deal was placed as a way to maneuver around other officials who opposed the plan itself. Education has become a serious topic over the years, due to the number of schools throughout the state which are in academically unsatisfactory statuses. The educational status throughout the state is poor, with low numbers of graduation in the public school system.
Once these schools receive the status of poor academics, the state has the option of letting the school figure out ways of correcting the problem or placing the school in the states care. Once the state takes over the school, higher standards and strict rules would apply for both teachers and students to follow. The state would also retain all federal funding for the school, instead of issuing the funds for that school to the school board. The state believes that teachers are ineffective in the way the material is taught to the students.
Both teachers and students are evaluated through the Compass System, which determines the effectiveness of the teacher’s ability to teach and the ability of the student to learn the material. Any teacher with a low effective rating for a period of two years is subject to termination (Kumar, 2013). The state is blaming the teaching ability of the teachers, instead of evaluating the behavior of the students inside the classroom. A teacher cannot teach, if he or she is constantly correcting students who disrupts class.
After following the budget crisis of Louisiana, not once has the crisis of overcrowded prisons been mentioned. The budget seems to be centered on other important issues, but lack interest in finding alternative solutions for the criminal justice system. The lack of federal funding to the justice system would cause early release dates to thousands of criminals, putting society in jeopardy all over again. Louisiana legislatures should focus on alternative solutions for housing inmates, instead of worrying on the phasing of the state’s income tax.
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