BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal today addressed the legislature in what was mercifully his final state of the state speech, with remarks which willfully ignored the misery his failed policies have inflicted on Louisiana families and served mainly as the rough draft of his Iowa stump speech. Instead of using the occasion to address the grave financial disaster the taxpayers of our state are facing, Gov. Jindal wasted his time and ours appealing to the most aggrieved elements of his base— railing against education reform and lobbying for legalized discrimination.
Left largely unaddressed was the $1.6 billion budget deficit his failures have left taxpayers to clean up. Already wrestling with the 3rd highest unemployment rate in the country thanks to Jindal and the GOP, Louisiana families must also contend with $70 million in tuition and fee increases for college students. Claiming not to have raised taxes ignores their pain, and ignores the disaster his failed policies have created. While Louisiana colleges are facing an 82 percent cut this coming school year, Governor Jindal has spent vast quantities of his time and our money campaigning out of state.
Stephen Handwerk, Executive Director of the Louisiana Democratic Party said: “Governor Jindal has failed the leadership test. Instead of offering real solutions, he made a glancing reference to ‘heartburn’ in the legislature caused by the GOP budget disaster, and he disingenuously attempted to pin all the blame on falling oil prices. The truth is our state was already burdened with a $1.2 billion shortfall due to his financial mismanagement prior to the shift in energy prices. And for Louisiana families and taxpayers concerned with balancing the budget, that is a source of heartbreak.”