Senate Passes Budget, Includes ‘SAVE’ Scam Bowing to Jindal
BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana State Senate passed a disjointed, badly compromised budget bill today, using the amendment process to strike down potential Medicaid expansion and twice refusing to strip the “SAVE” shell game from the legislation. Even after 11 Republican legislators penned a letter directly to GOP power-broker Grover Norquist to work around Gov. Bobby Jindal’s obstinance, Rep. Jack Donahue continued his efforts to contort state law in a convoluted money-laundering scheme designed to appease our governor-in-absentia.
While Donahue scrambled to ram through a budget bill that would accommodate Jindal’s vanity at the expense of Louisiana taxpayers, Sen. Karen Carter Peterson successfully led the effort to deny him taxpayer funding for his campaign travel. The back-and-forth of a tangled amendments process saw Donahue and his GOP allies seize the opportunity to strike even the possibility of Medicaid expansion, fight to protect Jindal’s campaign travel expenses, and ultimately pass a $24.5 billion budget by a 36-3 vote.
“We should all be disappointed in today’s budget vote,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “In contrast to the courage shown by the House last week, the Senate continued to cower and let their fear of Grover Norquist and Bobby Jindal dictate their vote. The people of Louisiana deserve better, they deserve a governor who serves the interests of taxpayers, not a legislature that serves at the whim of the governor.”