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GOP Legislature Surrenders Powers to Norquist, Passes ‘SAVE’

BATON ROUGE – In the final hours of the 2015 legislative session, the Louisiana Legislature ceded its constitutional authority and any semblance of decision-making power to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign staff. In an act of submission to the unelected, out-of-state Republican power broker who holds Jindal’s leash, both houses of the Louisiana legislature abandoned any sense of pride or duty to pass the “SAVE” scam into state law. Their surrender allows Jindal, on paper, to uphold his oath not to have raised taxes. In practice, it represents an utter and willful violation of the oath every lawmaker took to the voters of Louisiana.

Over the objections of principled lawmakers from across the political spectrum, Jindal’s agents in both chambers forced through the money-laundering scheme by bolting it onto unrelated legislation overnight in committee. While the GOP-majority Senate caved into Norquist’s agenda by embarrassing margins, legislators in the House showed leadership and courage— fighting to the very last minute against this perversion of process and the stunning precedent it represents.

“It’s a sad day for the Louisiana Legislature, and an even sadder one for the citizens they were elected to represent,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director for the Louisiana Democratic Party. “The lawmakers who allowed themselves to be bent to Jindal’s will, who were bullied into serving Grover Norquist at the expense of their constituents, will carry that shame with them until they’re voted out of office. Votes like this bring that day that much closer.”