Strain Heads Back to DC Next Week

By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network

During his report on the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain said he would be back in the nation’s capital next Monday and Tuesday in his role as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture for more discussions on the overall effects of trade and how it will affect ag policies and commodity prices.

Strain says one area that’s sure to come up is the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.  According to the commissioner, NAFTA means over $100 billion in trade between the three countries each year.

And things are moving along for the next regular session of the Louisiana legislature which starts April 10th and runs for 60 days.  Strain says time is running out for bills to be pre-filed.

“So if there is anything that needs to be addressed we need to know about it very, very quickly so we can add that to our legislative agenda.”

Each member of the legislature can have up to five bills dealing with law other than raising or lowering taxes, but each member may also have an unlimited number of fiscal bills.

Strain said one measure sure to come up is a comprehensive re-write of our tax system “as we try to figure out how to get the state on a more solid and predictable economic footing.”

And there is also talk around the capitol about a 17-cent per gallon fuel tax in order to “hopefully raise about $500 million a year for highway maintenance.”