Helping to set the stage for her legislative agenda, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has unveiled a $120 million tax package to pay for her plan to raise teacher salaries.
In a speech April 11 to the Baton Rouge Press Association, the first-term Democrat said she would increase taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and video poker to fund her plan to give each public school teacher in Louisiana a salary increase of about $1,000.
The proposed tax increase of 50 cents per pack alone would raise about $88 million, she estimated.
“We’ve put a lot of pressure on [teachers] and they are producing positive results,” she said in her speech. “I want a meaningful raise for them this year—even in these tough budget times. Our hardworking teachers deserve it.”
Louisiana’s 2005 legislature opens April 25.