BATON ROUGE – In a close vote today, the Louisiana House of Representatives rejected an opportunity to help more than 500,000 working families by adjusting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). House Bill 70 by Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger, which would have doubled the current state credit, was voted down 48-49. Ignoring every economic and moral argument offered to give hardworking Louisiana families a hand up, the GOP-controlled House refused to make the investment in our children and in our communities.
In keeping with the failed GOP policies that have left Louisiana with one of the most regressive tax structures in the country, forty-eight House Republicans (and a single Independent) voted against supporting family values, and supporting working families. Their contempt for the working families struggling under the weight of the $1.6 billion budget disaster cost 515,000 Louisianans their best opportunity to lift their children above the poverty line.
“We are keeping people in poverty,” said Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, making the moral argument that in instances such as this, it is the policies of the legislature itself that prove the biggest obstacle to the citizens its members were elected to serve.
“It’s disappointing, but not at all surprising, that nearly every Republican in the legislature put politics ahead of people and voted against helping Louisiana families,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “At every opportunity, the GOP legislature has failed the test of leadership and fought any effort to ease the burden of Louisiana’s working families.”