Monday, April 22 2019
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Senators get primer on cuts PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 23 2012 - 8:21 am

State senators should be aware of the impact of cuts in the House-passed budget, says Finance Committee Chairman Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville.

Donahue distributed to senators Tuesday an inch-thick publication pointing out the effects of the House decision cutting the $268 million in one-time money that was in the original version of the bill and the $150 million cut in other House actions.

"If these cuts go through, they're going to close three prisons," Donahue said. "If these cuts go through, look at your colleges" and see how cuts impact them.

He said senators should study the book so "you can't say you didn't know they were closing prisons and cutting colleges."

As Finance Committee chairman, Donahue called his committee together several weeks before the House approved the budget bill so members could become familiar with the original House Bill 1.


The panel received comments from every department and agency head concerning how they would handle reductions and then again after cuts were made

The $25.5 billion budget has $2.4 billion that's discretionary funds that can be cut, mostly in health care and higher education.

The impacts range from reduction of days of operation at 42 Office of Motor Vehicles offices to closure of state clinics and hospitals.

Donahue said the Legislature should address a $207 million hole in the current year's budget.

"Constitutionally, I think we are responsible for correcting that," he said.

Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, April 24 2012 - 1:40 pm

2012 Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday 
Saturday, May 26 & Sunday, May 27

Louisiana Revised Statute 47:305.58 provides for an annual state sales tax holiday on sales of hurricane-preparedness items or supplies made on the last Saturday and Sunday of each May. During the two-day annual holiday, tax-free purchases are authorized on the first $1,500 of the sales price of each of the following items:

  • portable self-powered light source;
  • portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio;
  • tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting;
  • any ground anchor system or tie-down kit;
  • any gas or diesel fuel tank;
  • any package of AAA-cell, AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries;
  • any cellular phone battery and any cellular phone charger;
  • any non-electric food storage cooler;
  • any portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage;
  • any “storm shutter device,” as defined in the Act;
  • any carbon monoxide detector; and
  • any blue ice product.

La. R.S. 47:301(10)(ee), and 301(18)(o), as enacted by Act 462 of the 2007 Regular Session, provide a permanent state sales and use tax exclusion for storm shutter devices. La. R.S. 47:337.10(m) authorizes, but does not require, political subdivisions of the state to provide a similar exclusion from their sales and use taxes. Accordingly, the state sales tax exemption on storm shutter devices is not limited to the two days of the sales tax holiday. The term “storm shutter device” is defined for purposes of both the holiday and the permanent exclusion as materials and products manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically for the purposes of preventing window damage from storms.

Conditions for Exemption

The following activities will be eligible during the two days of each annual holiday for the sales tax exemption:

  • buying and accepting delivery of eligible hurricane-preparedness items or supplies;
  • placing eligible items or supplies on layaway;
  • making final payment on and withdrawing eligible items or supplies previously placed on layaway; or
  • ordering an eligible item for immediate delivery, even if delivery must be delayed, provided that the customer has not requested delayed shipment.

Special Provisions

The Act provides that:

  • The exemption is allowed on both inputs to and withdrawals from layaway.
  • Purchases of eligible items or supplies during the holiday with “rain checks” issued before the holiday are eligible for exemption, but purchases after the holiday with “rain checks” issued during the holiday are not eligible for exemption;
  • Orders for immediate shipment are eligible for exemption even if the shipment is after the holiday, provided that the customer does not request delayed shipment;
  • The post-holiday exchange of merchandise to effectuate changes in size, color, or correction of defects does not create a tax liability, but exchanges after the holiday for dissimilar items will be considered the purchase of new property on which the sales tax will be payable;
  • For a 60-day period after the holiday, dealers who issue refund or credit for the return of merchandise that was eligible for sales tax exemption during the holiday can issue refund or credit for the state sales tax on that returned merchandise only if the customers returning the property have receipts showing that the tax was actually paid on the original purchases, or the dealers are otherwise able to document that the state sales tax was paid on the original purchases.

The sales tax holiday does not extend to hurricane-preparedness items or supplies purchased at any airport, public lodging establishment or hotel, convenience store, or entertainment complex. Since these terms are not defined by La. R.S. 47:305.58 the department has published a rule, LAC 61:I.4423, to define the terms. 

The 2012 sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 26 and conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 27.

Return Filing Procedures

Retailers should report exempt sales on Line 24 of the Sales Tax Return (R-1029).

Click here to read the story from the Louisiana Department of Revenue

Thursday, March 29 2012 - 2:47 pm

We are only a couple of weeks into the session but things are really happening at a quick pace.

I know that many of you are keeping track of the progress of the education reform bills.  Some of these bills have passed the Senate and some have passed the House.  The thing that amazes me most is the misinformation being proliferated by the opponents of the bills.  Most of the bills have been amended to protect local districts and to require some degree of accountability on the part of participating systems and schools.  The support of the business community across the state has been overwhelming, and business leaders are actually demanding change in the dismal educational system we currently have.  Chambers of Commerce, Business Councils, the Committee of 100, Blueprint Louisiana, the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) are all clamoring for the changes proposed by Gov. Jindal and are adamant about their expectations of this Legislature.  One thing you can do is contact your School Board members and let them know you are in favor of the changes necessary to take this state to a new place in education and ask them to support Gov. Jindal's proposal.

As these bills work their way through the process, the state's fiscal condition will begin to take center stage.  The bad news is that the state is not producing the revenues projected by the Revenue Estimating Conference.  This means two things:  First, the current year budget, which ends on June 30,  may have a large deficit.  This deficit must be taken care of in a period of just a few months, which will require more cuts before June 30.  Second, the deficit projected for the new fiscal year starting on July 1, will be substantially larger than is anticipated right now.

I will keep you posted on what is going on in Baton Rouge.  We’re all working hard at the Capitol, and it remains a great honor to serve you.

Please get involved.



LYAC MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION (deadline is March 15, 2012) PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, March 06 2012 - 1:03 pm

LYAC MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION (deadline is March 15, 2012):
The Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) is now accepting applications for Membership from high school students who have an interest in representing the voices of other young people around the state. LYAC is a yearly-appointed body composed entirely of students that addresses issues affecting the youth of Louisiana.

State lawmakers created the Legislative Youth Advisory Council in state law during the 2007 Regular Session. Now in its fourth year, the purpose of the youth council is to facilitate the communication between youth and the legislature and to give students a unique opportunity to be involved in the workings of state government. The 21-member body studies and addresses issues of importance to young people, including education, community service, employment, strategies to increase youth participation in government, safe environments for youth, substance abuse, underage drinking, and youth health and physical fitness, as well as other issues.

Members of the council are selected from a wide pool of applicants from around the state who display a strong interest in civic involvement. Two student members are selected from each of the congressional districts and seven additional youth members are appointed to represent a school-sponsored or community service club or organization which has a civic mission. Members must be 14 to 19 years of age and enrolled in a public or private high school, a home school, or participating in a GED skills program during the 2012-2013 school year.

STN: Donahue joins Jindal for bill signing PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, July 23 2011 - 6:33 am

Friday, July 22, 2011

District 11 State Senator Jack Donahue recently joined Governor Bobby Jindal along with concerned parents and other stakeholders for a special bill signing ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge.

The ceremony centered on Senate Bill 59 which requires state education officials to prepare and adopt rules regarding the appropriate use of restraints and seclusion in response to the behavior of students with exceptionalities, limiting and defining the use of such actions in an educational setting.  The new law also requires schools to notify parents of any incident in which restraint or seclusion of their child is used.

Jindal praised Donahue for his leadership on this issue, noting his untiring efforts to bring all stakeholders together to agree on a process for protecting the safety and well-being of children with developmental disabilities in an educational environment. Advocates for the developmentally disabled also noted Donahue’s efforts to work with them to address the issue with Louisiana leading the way on legislation to protect the safety of our most vulnerable children.

With the ability to introduce only five bills of a general nature at the 2011 Regular Session, Donahue chose to make Senate Bill 59 a priority for Louisiana’s families and children. Senate Bill 59 becomes Act 328 of the 2011 Regular Legislative Session.

Click here to read the story from the St. Tammany News


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