93% of our state's budget can not be touched. All but 7% has been constitutionally protected or statutorily dedicated. It's time we stop wasting money, taxing our citizens far too much, reprioritize our funding and unlock the full force of our budget.
In the past four years two billion dollars in new sales taxes have been raised on the poorest citizens in our state to pay for the largest budgets in our state's history. Three years ago, our state government promised these taxes would last two years. Last year they promised it would last seven. Today the state legislature is debating making them permanent. Keeping this tax hike will not lead us to prosperity nor will it help our citizens keep trust in their government. We must work to overturn this unfair tax increase.
In the past four years our state legislature has cut the TOPS program and it continues to be on the chopping block every year. Our citizens agree, the TOPS program is a one way ticket to the middle and possibly upper class for our poorest citizens. We must protect this program at all costs.
Louisiana citizens pay the highest car insurance rates in the country. Jefferson and Orleans Parishes pay the highest in the state. Therefore, the citizens of District 94 pay the highest rates in the country. This equates to a $1200 tax on every citizen every year just for owning a car and driving to work. This is not right, it must change and I will make it a priority to fight to lower this rate.
The Medicaid expansion program in Louisiana has cost nearly 100 million dollars in the past two years in waste fraud and abuse. The program also has had nearly 30,000 individuals who didn’t qualify for the benefit, including several thousand who made well over $100,000 a year, receiving Medicaid. This is not right and is costing our state tens of millions of dollars. More importantly it is not allowing the neediest amongst us to receive the benefit. Overall reform of the system is needed to secure it for future generations of Louisiana citizens.
We must stop increasing taxes to pay for a larger government that provides worse services to our citizens. Louisiana is ranked last in nearly every category from education to infrastructure. Our people have lost faith in their government and its time we start electing new leadership to move our state in a fundamentally different direction. I am a father, husband, business owner and Navy officer who believes in not just leading but listening to our people. We must have more town hall meetings to hear from the people and less special sessions to have to listen to politicians. My name is Kirk Williamson and I ask for your vote.