At the start of the current legislative session, Gov. Bobby Jindal called for bipartisanship and “Louisiana solutions.” Yet yesterday at the Capitol, the Jindal administration tried three different maneuvers to kill HB 889, the Louisiana Healthier Families Act. The Louisiana Healthier Families Act would reduce our youth smoking rate and generate upwards of $127 million a year for health care – and it enjoys bipartisan support in the Legislature.
That hasn’t stopped Gov. Jindal and Louisiana Republican Party chairman Roger Villere from opposing the bill at every turn, despite offering no alternatives.
“Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Republican Party march lockstep with the national GOP’s “party of no” approach – no new ideas, no leadership and no solutions,” says Chris Whittington, chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “At a time when Louisiana faces the challenge of serious budget cuts to health care, why is Gov. Jindal so opposed to an open debate and vote on legislation that would reduce teen smoking and secure funding to offset cuts in health care?”
A recent poll done by the Mellman Group shows about three out of four Louisianans support the Louisiana Healthier Families Act. (That included 72 percent of both Democrats and Republicans and 67 percent of independents supporting the proposal.) Today, The Advocate newspaper ran an editorial urging the Legislature to support the Louisiana Healthier Families Act.