Even with the accumulation of unfunded pension liabilities – now $30 billion and counting — some state lawmakers have introduced bills that would expand government benefits.
Sen. Elbert Guillory (D-Opelousas) has introduced a bill that would make possible for Louisiana to join with other states in forming a Health Care Compact (HCC). The idea is to move the responsibility and authority for shaping health care policy back to the states and away from the federal government.
Sen. Danny Martiny (R-Metaire) has introduced legislation that would ban state government officials from mandating Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on publicly funded construction projects, which are backed by organized labor. PLAs boost construction costs and undermine competition, studies show.
If the Obama Administration actually favored increased production in the Gulf of Mexico, it would be happening Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) told audience members at luncheon held in New Orleans. “Louisiana is the Aorta of America,” he said in his talk. But a change in Administration is needed.
Although organized labor has been supportive of ObamaCare, many of these same union organizations have sought and received exemptions from the law’s consumer protection provisions for their own health care plans. The list includes the Louisiana Laborers Health and Welfare Fund, the Louisiana Electrical Health Fund, and the Louisiana Carpenters Regional Fund.
Taxpayers are covering 56 percent of the pension plan contributions for Louisiana State Troopers. Moreover, a portion of the fee residents pay for their driver’s license is also used to help fund the police retirement plan. At a time when rising liabilities threaten the stability of the entire state pension system, state troopers should not be excluded from policy changes, and NFIB official says.
Louisiana lawmakers are in position to enact meaningful free market health care reforms that will expand consumer choice and help lower costs. It would be a mistake for state officials to wait for a final ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
As the state legislature prepares to go back into session, some critics of the horizontal well severance tax incentive now say the program should be eliminated to help close the budget gap. But, a new study from the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association concludes the state would lose out over the long-term if the incentive is removed.
On ObamaCare’s one year anniversary, it is now evident that Louisiana residents will be forced off their private insurance and onto Medicaid. Louisiana health officials have also concluded that implementation will cost $7 billion over a 10-year period.
State lawmakers were not thinking about long term costs when they passed a law back in 1999 that allowed for taxpayers to pick up all or part of the tab for employee contributions to a local pension plan. Pension reform proposals will be up for discussion in the upcoming state legislative session