Jindal scraps tax plan, wants income tax removal

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
First day of Legislative Session 2013
First day of Legislative Session 2013

The 39th regular session began at the State Capitol as it always does with both the House and the Senate convening, but when the Governor addressed the joint session, it didn't take long for the first big development of the session to come out.

In his address, Governor Jindal told lawmakers he was putting his tax reform package on hold. Instead he urged the legislators to get behind one of the pre-filed bills in the books that would eliminate the state's income tax.

Jindal had proposed to get rid of the income tax immediately and replace it with a sales tax hike, sales taxes charged on new services and higher tobacco taxes. That encountered widespread opposition.

The Governor says it is a sure way to get more natives back to Louisiana. "Yes we've made great progress. Our sons and daughters are beginning to come back but we can't afford to become complacent. We can't afford to stop pushing forward, that is why we need to get rid of those income taxes. Let's bring our children home," said Jindal in his speech.

But that left House Democrats questioning his leadership.

"He's got plenty of practice. He's come back to Louisiana about 600 times. The ironic thing there is he's talking about bringing folks back when he's spending so much time outside the state," said Representative John Bel Edwards (D) Amite.

Also on opening day of the session, there was a special moment for Central native Barry Ivey as he was sworn in as State Representative in his first term in office.

By many accounts, the Governor caught a lot of lawmakers by surprise with the brevity of his own opening address. Some said this was by far the shortest of his past opening speeches.

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