Gubernatorial candidates square off in Westwego Forum

Gubernatorial candidates square off in Westwego Forum

WESTWEGO, LA (WVUE) - Three of the four major candidates in the race for governor are weighing in on new cuts to the film tax credit program, Common Core, and the recently passed budget. They appeared at a forum sponsored by a number of business groups on the west bank Wednesday morning.

Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne, and Jon Bel Edwards appeared on the Alario center stage. Though Sen. David Vitter couldn't attend due to Senate business, the others were free to discuss a wide range of issues.

"I'm concerned about the budget whether I'm elected or not. It's a six-month budget," said Republican candidate Jay Dardenne.

Democratic candidate John Bel Edwards added, "The 'Save' plan is not illegal, but it doesn't do anything. It's a fiction to allow Jindal to say there was an offset created so Jindal could say we were revenue neutral."

"I think part of the unfortunate thing we did, was across-the-board budget cuts as opposed to specifically looking at those exemptions not providing a return," said Republican Scott Angelle.

All say the next governor should lead the charge on eliminating a chronic, and serious structural debt.

"We got to get rid of the tax giveaways and determine if they are worthwhile," said Bel Edwards.

Angelle added," I think the next governor will have to call a special session to find out which one of these rebates are not providing a return, and get rid of those."

"A flatter, simpler tax, is what they're screaming for on a national level, and what we should scream for on the local level," said Dardenne.

Film tax credits were also discussed. State lawmakers just put in place a $180 million cap on film tax credits, and two candidates are concerned about a negative impact on Hollywood South.

"There wasn't a robust study done, it was a big number, I'm not sure that was the right thing to do," said Angelle.

Dardenne added, "It's really a back-end cap. They won't know until they do their tax returns, and then you make them wait. I think it will be challenged legally, it's got some legal issues."

"I did vote for that. It was one of the tax measures I felt we had to do," said Bel Edwards.

As for Common Core, all three candidates approved of a new state law, calling for a review and a vote before core standards are put in place.

This was the second governor's forum to be held in the New Orleans area. The primary is four months away.

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