The Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Advocacy Center hosted a debate for the candidates seeking to be elected in Louisiana’s 91st and 98th House Districts on Thursday, Sept. 26.
The candidates were questioned by moderators who know the job well; they’ve been representing the Uptown districts in the state House for the past decade.
Term-limited District 91 state Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, moderated the forum for the four candidates seeking his seat: Carling Dinkler, Mandie Landry, Robert McKnight and Pepper Bowen Roussel. All the House District 91 candidates are Democrats.
The candidates addressed the questions listed below the video.
- What structural tax reform would you support to create a more stable state budget?
- Would you “un-dedicate” the funding for specific parts of government (health care, education, etc.) so that lawmakers would have more discretion to change it?
- What is the most important driver of the Louisiana economy in District 91?
- Would you support giving city and parish governments more responsibility for public works projects and social programs by cutting state taxes and increasing local taxes?
- If you had a choice of doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit at a cost to the state of $50 million, or investing the same amount in infrastructure, which would you choose?
- How would you increase infrastructure funding, and which regional project would you prioritize?
- Closing statements.
- Why did you decide to run?
- What will be your first bill, and why?
- What is the biggest issue facing either District 98 or the state as a whole?
- If an increase in the gas tax is dedicated only to state highways and not roads in District 98, will you still support it?
- Do you support maintaining the most recent 0.45-cent increase in the state sales tax to balance the budget?
- The sales tax is seen by many Democrats as a form of taxation that disproportionately burdens the poor, but Democratic state lawmakers have tried unsuccessfully for years to replace it with other, more equitable forms of revenue. If the New Orleans delegations was unable to accomplish this, what would you do different?
- With such a strong field of contenders with similar views, why should people vote for you specifically?