House and Senate committees are meeting today to discuss legislation that if adopted would trigger a constitutional convention. Much of the interest is due to the state’s current budgetary law that restricts cuts to only higher ed and health care when faced with a budget deficit. Senator Troy Carter, who has proposed his own bill to tackle the issue, says it’s time to bring our government into 2018.
Carter says, "In order for us to enjoy reform, we have to go back and look back at our practices and bring them in line with the 21st century."
The Senator says the world has changed substantially since Louisiana’s last constitutional convention in 1974. He says the state needs to adapt to new economic realities.
Carter says that Louisiana doesn't have the "luxuries" of money from oil and gas to protect the state from budget cuts.
A constitutional convention would likely take at least a year to complete, which wouldn’t do anything to solve the impending fiscal cliff, but the New Orleans Democrat says it could lead to a more reasonable budgetary process in the future.
Carter says that a constitutional amendment would allow three quarters of the budget to be cut. This would allow the state to take smaller on programs like education and health care.
Representatives Neil Abrahamson, Frank Foil, and Barry Ivey, as well as Senator Page Cortez have also introduced legislation to trigger a convention.