Some recent editorials and news stories have falsely characterized regulatory review efforts currently underway at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, apparently without having actually read the proposed revisions. One editorial in the Houston Chronicle expressed worries that many, including the U.S. Government and our agency, commonly referred to as BSEE, might have forgotten the lessons of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy and other offshore incidents. For the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement nothing could be further from the truth.
As an 18-year-old, I struggled to find my way. After high school graduation, I found myself asking the question, what was I going to be when I grew up. I opted to take the road less traveled and joined the United States Army. While it was challenging and rewarding, I knew I needed more. Upon completion of my military service, I came home and became a Ragin Cajun. I learned a lot and earned my Bachelors of Arts Degree, but the question remained what was I going to be when I grew up.
As many have heard, Louisiana is facing an approximately $600 million shortfall this year. This “fiscal cliff” is created due to the temporary 1 percent sales tax increase and suspension of tax exemptions expiring combined with a continued growth in state spending.
Since 2015, $1.38 billion in temporary taxes, $1 billion in permanent taxes, and tens of millions in new fees have been raised! During this time the state budget grew by $5.2 billion. Our state sales tax is temporarily at 5 percent and is set to sunset back to 4 percent in FY 2019.
To our local legislative delegation:
Let us start out by thanking you for your difficult job you have chosen to undertake, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
I feel compelled to offer a small amount of information about “The Party of No” that I left out of my “Remember to vote’ letter in Sunday’s Eunice News.
This group has about 20 members who pledge to vote “No” on any bill that raises taxes in the Legislature. I read in The Advocate that our own representative from Eunice joined the group when he elected and it is one of the divisive groups in the current sessions.