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Jack Donahue Newsletter 7-2-2007 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, July 01 2007 - 8:00 pm

Session Wrap-Up 7/2/07

What opportunities existed?

Healthcare

At the urging of and with the help of Secretary of Health & Human Services Leavitt, we had the opportunity to redefine the healthcare system in Louisiana so as to provide a new and innovative decentralized medical system with the Feds helping to foot the bill.

What did happen?

Sadly, we are on our way to creating another Charity System modeled after the present system. Remember the present system is the most expensive and provides the worst results of any state. What is proposed will be just like the system that was destroyed except bigger!!!!!!!!

Education

The opportunity existed to provide teachers with a well-deserved pay raise while continuing to improve one of the best accountability systems in the country.

What did happen?

We gave out well-deserved pay raises to all teachers in K-12 as well as higher education. Universities are funded at 100% of their formula. I don’t believe, however, that this level of funding can be sustained in coming years. Of concern was the lack of increased accountability based on the increased salaries.

Retirement

We had the opportunity to substantially reduce the Unfunded Accrued Liability (UAL).

What did happen?

No meaningful reform was seriously considered and the UAL continues to climb and our kids and grandkids will have to live with our inaction.

Budget

We had the opportunity to scrub the budget and really control our spending, giving us time to create a plan to use our surplus funds to benefit all of Louisiana. By making the best of the financial opportunities presented to us, we could have insured the continuity of this state and reduced the tax burden on our citizens and our businesses.

What did happen?

Instead of returning money to the people, the legislature spent it. If any more money is found before the end of the year, I am afraid the Governor will call a special session and spend that, too. I believe that Louisiana, before Katrina, had a spending not a revenue problem. It must be very clear now for everyone to see just how true that statement is. Government will continue to spend, thinking it is doing something wonderful for the people. Many of the legislators in Baton Rouge don’t spend time with the people they are supposed to represent. How can they possibly understand the needs of the people?

Insurance

We could have reduced the cost of insurance to our citizens who are suffering greatly.

What did happen?

HB678 passed and will allow the state to entice mid-sized insurance carriers into the state. Hopefully this will have the effect of ultimately reducing the rates that homeowners and businesses will pay for insurance. Equally important is the depopulation of the Citizens plan, thereby reducing the state’s exposure for future insurance losses. An amendment was attached to HB678 that will help the homeowners by giving an immediate tax credit for excess insurance payments.

Ethics

Transform Louisiana from a model of impropriety to a model of excellence.

What did happen?

They blustered and blathered and did nothing.

Louisiana had a terrific opportunity to really shine by reducing the size of government, cleaning up our image, and returning money to the citizens of this state. The advances in education and infrastructure were noteworthy, but coastal restoration funding did not go far enough. In addition, they spent every nickel they could find and tried to sell off the tobacco settlement so more could be spent. Ever wonder why “they” don’t get it? It’s because there is no long-term vision for Louisiana. If we don’t have a vision, then we can’t have a plan. No plan—then we are a ship without a rudder. It is about leadership.

We have seen what they can do, and now it is time to send new people with fresh ideas to our state capitol. Please join me in my effort by volunteering to help me be part of the change that must occur in this state. You can contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .