White to appear on TV show Public Square

Published 6:50 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016

After a year in which state lawmakers met for an historic three separate sessions and had to solve monumental budget deficits, Louisianans might well be wondering what all happened in Baton Rouge.

To help sort it all out, Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s monthly affairs program, “Pubic Square” will focus Wednesday’s broadcast on the sessions. As usual, the program will feature a panel of public affairs experts and lawmakers, including State Rep. Malinda White. White is the second lawmaker on the panel, along with State Sen. Eric LaFleur.

White said she was happy to be asked.

“It is definitely an honor,” she said.

LaFleur is a longtime legislator, first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1999. He is currently the chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

White, on the other hand, is a freshman.

White said she isn’t sure why LPB picked her to be on the panel, but the program’s website points to her record of accomplishments. Although a novice legislator, White passed legislation that expanded hunting safety colors to include pink in addition to orange and she also passed a law that limited that amount of reimbursement businesses could receive for paying their taxes on time.

In addition, she tried to pass a tax overhaul that would have limited tax deductions for higher income earners. Although that measure didn’t pass, White said it would have brought in $88 million and she’s hopeful to pass it next year.

“We need to get something that’s a real fix for Louisiana, that is fair and equal for all, no matter where you are in life. That’s what the goal is, and that’s what we need to do,” she said.

White explained that rather than depend on stop-gap measures like temporary tax hikes, a tax overhaul could make the tax code fairer and raise state revenue. She said that while she found support for her bill, a lot of legislators wanted to wait for the regular session next year.

“The majority would rather see that in the regular session in the spring,” she said.

White said she looks forward to discussing all of the issues with the panel.

“I’ll be in there with some very knowledgeable folks. I hope to be able to get in a word in there,” she said.

The other panelists will include Melinda Deslatte, an Associated Press reporter; LaFleur and James Richardson, an economist.

The show will air on LPB at 7 p.m.