Courtesy of Louisiana Legislature

Lawmakers have gathered in Baton Rouge to begin the legislative session for this year. Things were tough last year as lawmakers haggled over the budget. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat doesn’t expect smooth sailing with the budget process this year.

Pinsonat says legalizing sports betting is also expected to be a hot topic this year.

One big item is a proposed gas tax increase. But that measure will face stiff opposition. Even Governor John Bel Edwards says he does not support increases any taxes this year.

But Baton Rouge Republican Representative Steve Carter is pushing for a 5 cent gas tax for this year. But his proposal would gradually increase the tax to 18 cents over the next ten years. Carter wants the money dedicated to pay for bridge and road repairs.

Americans for Prosperity State Director John Kay opposed a similar proposal in 2017 that failed to gain momentum, and says anti-tax crusaders will be back to stop this year’s push as well.

Kay says our roads do need more of an investment, but before the state considers a higher gasoline tax, it should dedicate the current 20-cent gas tax completely to infrastructure and not use any of it for DOTD salaries.