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Acadiana lawmaker reacts to new state budget

Posted: 6:50 PM, Jun 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-25 19:50:15-04

One day after the state budget has been finalized one Acadiana lawmaker is speaking out against those who voted "no".

Last night the third special session ended with a tax renewal bill that will raise $463 million for the budget.

Lawmakers approved a partial renewal of a sales tax that was supposed to expire next week. 0.45 percent was approved on the temporary one percent sales tax.

"With the wisdom of the majority of the members, all of those programs are fully funded, so it’s really a bright day," says Senator Kenneth Boudreaux from Lafayette. These are programs such as safety net hospitals, nursing homes, food stamps, and the TOPS tuition program. Five of the Republican lawmakers from Acadiana voted no, something Boudreaux wants to call them out on.  

"A no vote would’ve continued to send the wrong message to the people of the state that have been standing by waiting and if you recall now, this is three years we said we would fix this problem and the fiscal year starts July first and we have waited till the last week to fix it after three years, so a no vote would indicate that the legislature had failed," says Boudreaux.

He says many of the nay-sayers to the bill wanted to cut government spending.

"For those who continue to say government is so big, I think the door is still open for them to introduce legislation to reduce or cut those programs but I think the day of reckoning has arrived and I think it’s time for those who find fault in providing financial stability to the state to step forward," says Boudreaux.

But this sales tax, in effect until 2025 promises 463-million dollars for the 29 billion dollar budget, and the most important thing now, Boudreaux says, is working together.

"I think this is the biggest hurdle and once you clear the highest hurdle its just a matter of managing and monitoring and working together, I think that’s the biggest key is just working together," says Boudreaux. 

We reached out to those who voted "no" on the bill. None of them were available to speak today.