Rep. Phillip DeVillier

DeVillier on Louisiana’s 2019 ‘fiscal cliff’

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.

District 41 State Rep. Phillip DeVillier, R-Eunice, spoke about state fiscal issues at the Eunice Kiwanis Club meeting on Thursday. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

DeVillier keeps to fiscal theme

State Rep. Phillip DeVillier said his priorities are kindergarten through 12th-grade education; roads and bridges; and higher education.
But it is the state’s finances that he mostly spoke about at a Eunice Kiwanis Club meeting Thursday.
“It gives me anxiety knowing what we have coming up, which is this so-called fiscal cliff of around $1.5 billion,” he said.
That means Gov. John Bel Edwards and legislators must come up with a combination of budget cuts and revenue increases of $1.5 billion in 2018.

Rep. Phillip DeVillier

DeVillier bills pass

State Rep. Phillip DeVillier saw six bills pass the Legislature and become law in the recently completed regular session.
Most of DeVillier’s work was on legislation requested by local government.
But it was a bill he filed to change the capital outlay process that failed to make it through the session that seems closest to his heart.
“I think it is extremely important in this state to get it going in the right direction,” he said of HB 189. “It is something I will continue to work on because it something we need because no one wants to pay more taxes.”

Rep. Phillip DeVillier spoke at the Eunice Kiwanis Club Thursday.
(Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

DeVillier: ‘Serious’ budget cuts are coming

On the heels of a special session that filled a $304 million state budget hole, Rep. Phillip DeVillier said more cuts are on the horizon when legislators take up the 2017-18 budget.
“I’m telling you and the message needs to get out ... we are going to make serious cuts...” he said at a Eunice Kiwanis Club meeting Thursday.
Temporary taxes, such as a 1 percent sales, are about to expire, he said as an explanation for the next round of budget crisis.
“We can’t continue to grow a state budget and we don’t have the revenues to support it,” he said.

Rep. Phillip DeVillier, left, and St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court Charles Jagneaux spoke about establishing an early voting site at the Eunice City Hall during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

Aldermen OK resolution opposing closing LSUE

Eunice aldermen passed a resolution to be sent to legislators and the governor to oppose closing Louisiana State University Eunice.
The action at Tuesday’s meeting came at the request of Jack Burson, alderman at-large.
“What has led me to propose tahat is I was reading my newspaper with coffee last week and found out the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee was saying the way to bring the budget in line would be to close LSUE and LSU Shreveport,” he said.

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