|Newsletter - February 19, 2009|
|Thursday, February 19 2009 - 5:51 pm|
There is a lot going ON!!!!!!
Late Breaking News: The Joint Budget Committee will meet on Friday, February 20th to distribute the money from the Stimulus Package allocated to roads and bridges. Approximately $352,000,000 will be passed to DOTD to be spent!!!
Things in Baton Rouge are beginning to heat up and there is a lot at stake on a local, state and national level.
Locally one of the big issues will be the results of the gambling effort being promoted in St. Tammany Parish. We have had hundreds of responses and the large majority does not favor allowing the infiltration of gambling into St. Tammany Parish. The issue will be before the St. Tammany Parish Council soon. Make sure you let your Councilman know your feelings.
Your legislative delegation continues to work on getting some relief for property tax payers through legislation which will be introduced into the session, which starts in April. I will have more information for you shortly. If you need some help deciphering the truth about property taxes, please contact me.
I met recently with Secretary Ankner of DOTD and spoke about the continuing problems in Parc du Lac and Greenleaves subdivisions. We are getting some concessions from the State but there are a number of issues which may require litigation to solve. Kevin Davis continues to be a strong advocate and is fighting for both these areas. When you see him, thank him!!
For the past year we have been working on sound walls for some of the subdivisions along I-10 in the Slidell area, particularly Country Club. In a recent phone conference with Senator Vitter and Secretary Ankner, an agreement was hammered out to try to piece together $3,000,000 for sound absorbent walls along the one mile stretch that is now "protected" by dilapidated wood walls. We hope to have some good news shortly.
The state’s budget problems are going to be affected by the Stimulus Package which just passed through both houses and will be signed into law by President Obama. The state is poised to make some significant budget cuts to balance expenditures with our diminishing revenues. I am concerned that the federal money is going to allow us to not make the hard choices now and instead we will have to face these same hard choices again when the stimulus dollars run out in two years. I believe this country may pay a terrible price if we allow the Federal Government to come in and "rescue" all of the states. It seems to me we need to take action now to trim the size of state government and not put it off. What are your thoughts?
The number of responses to my request for feedback on Property Tax and Gambling was gratifying. Please continue to let me know how you feel because your opinion helps me to do a better job representing you, this district and our state.
I know things look bleak right now, but we have reasons to be optimistic about the future of our great state. I believe we will be fine and good things will happen to us if we stay strong and make the right moves!!!