Political & Legislative

Solar Bill Passes Louisiana State Senate but …

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SB 231 by Martiny and HB 705 by Ponti were introduced in this year’s legislative session on behalf of some in the solar industry in Louisiana as an attempt to head off complete elimination of tax rebates for installation of residential solar energy systems. The attempt was pro-active in offering a phase out of solar tax credits in exchange for their extension at least until Dec 31, 2017. Solar industry reps worked with the legislative fiscal office and the governor’s office ahead of the session in order to come up with a bill that would be acceptable. Since its introduction the legislation has assumed the identity of a ball in play as it changed form numerous times.

Legislative Update - Louisiana Solar Tax Credits hang In there

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House Bill 705 by Erich Ponti is now the operative bill carrying Louisiana solar industry hopes for continuing the tax credits in the face of serious opposition from politicians who want to see the tax credit severely limited or eliminated. The tax credit has become popular since its inception in 2007 but the annual estimated lost state tax revenue has gotten the attention of fiscal hawks and those opposed to solar. Recognizing the political threat the Louisiana solar installers have been proactive in developing legislation that would keep the tax credits in place for a time but eventually phase them out.

Sierra Club Delta Chapter Legislative Update, April 29, 2013

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Tax credits and incentives for residential wind and solar

Louisiana residential solar energy tax incentives are getting a lot of attention in the legislature this year. There are four legislative bills proposing elimination or limits on incentives. They are HB 444 Burrell, HB 587 Robideaux, HB 705 Ponti, and SB 231 Martiny. HB 444 and 587 are similar bills that require cost benefit analysis by March 1, 2015 for a whole list of tax exemptions including the ones for wind and solar. The tax exemptions on the entire list would be terminated beginning Jan 2016. These are revenue enhancement measures left over from the governor’s ill fated attempt to eliminate the state income tax. Neither of these bills has yet moved in the legislative process.

HCR 68 Continues Study of Bayou Teche

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House Concurrent Resolution 68 by Representative Stephen Ortego has passed the Louisiana Legislature and continues the study of Bayou Teche for designation as a Historic and Scenic River under the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act. HCR 68 focuses the study on the portions of Bayou Teche flowing through St. Martin Parish and St. Landry Parish. HCR 49 in last year’s (2012) legislature had requested La Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries to study inclusion of the entire length of Bayou Teche in four parishes.

Senator Vitter Pays High Compliment to Lisa Jackson

Jordan Blum reports yesterday that Sen. David Vitter has called Lisa Jackson, of New Orleans, "the worst EPA head ever." If I were Lisa Jackson I would take that as a high compliment coming from Sen. Vitter. http://theadvocate.com/home/5685175-125/vitter-questions-epa-nominee

Delta Chapter Legislative Report, July 2, 2012

Sierra Club Delta Chapter started engaging with the 2012 legislature back in the Nov 2011 elections with active support for election of several state legislators including campaign work for Stephen Ortego, active support for Jack Montoucet, and formal endorsement of J.P. Morrell of New Orleans. This year we put on two social events for legislators, one in New Orleans on March 1, and one in Baton Rouge on March 21. We received great feedback and recognition among legislators for these events.

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