Chris John: It’s time to make a CASE for Louisiana

10 12, 2015 by Daily Advertiser

It’s no secret that we are nearing the finish line of election season. Commercials are in a constant loop, mail boxes are filled with campaign literature, and automatic polls are clogging phone lines. All of these things are meant to influence or determine whom voters will elect.

There is another effort underway that looks past election season. Sixty-four organizations from all over the state have united in an effort to provide a way to allow Louisiana to prosper. This coalition, which LMOGA is proud to be a part of, is offering something called the Coalition for a Stronger Economy (CASE). Through these efforts, we are urging candidates and elected officials to adopt this plan that focuses on job retention and creation.

Louisiana is at a crossroads. And the election season is the ideal time to guarantee that Louisiana picks the right path. In this effort, the stakeholders have been meeting for over a year. This has allowed us to have substantive discussions and debates on the myriad of issues Louisiana faces. And more importantly, it has allowed us to devise solutions to these issues. We are leaning forward with a unified approach that lays the foundation for a smarter government and stronger economy.

The CASE plan outlines six areas of focus to achieve success in Louisiana. The first tenet calls for the acceleration of growth in the private sector. This can be achieved through governments at all levels seeking to reduce regulations on the private sector, favoring limited government and a free-market approach.

Secondly, CASE calls for an adoption of a pro-growth tax code. The state tax code should be nationally competitive and drive economic growth. The tax structure and administration should be simple and efficient for businesses and citizens. Furthermore, local reliance on state support should be rightsized in line with best-practice states.

Next there should be efforts to transform budgeting to allow for prioritization of spending. Statutory limitations that prohibit the prioritization of state spending should be reviewed, reformed, reduced, or eliminated where appropriate.

There is also a significant need to develop Louisiana’s workforce to promote individual prosperity and a healthy economy for the future. Federal, state and local workforce training efforts should be aligned, coordinated, and leveraged to meet the needs of workers and industry alike.

And finally, we must improve Louisiana’s legal climate to be fair, efficient and accountable. Frivolous lawsuits — including such litigation by public bodies — should be discouraged. Transparency and citizen access should be highlighted.

So although you won’t see any commercials on TV about CASE, it is equally important we focus on what Louisiana does after the elections. CASE is the answer.

— Chris John, former congressman, is president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association.