As you are probably aware, our state has a budget crisis.  On Wednesday of last week, lawmakers hammered out a solution to a mid-year budget deficit, but the budget problems aren't going away.  Funding for TOPS scholarships for Louisiana residents who attend state schools will only be at 70% of the cost for tuition.  Our roads are crumbling while traffic is increasing.

To avert a shutdown last year, lawmakers established a series of temporary tax measures.  As a result, Louisiana now has the highest sales tax rate in the entire country at almost 10%.  But, when the next fiscal year ends in mid-2018, $1.5 billion of those taxes will expire.

Among the entities that are at risk is our state park system.  In an effort to stay afloat, the Office Of State Parks announced that it is raising entrance fees and rates on cabin rentals.  On March 1st  the cost to enter a state park is going up from $2 to $3. It's still free for those over the age of 62 and for children 3-and-under.  The increases for cabins depend on types of cabins and on what days you rent them.  If you've already made reservations, the increases will not affect you.  The price increases are expected to raise about $3 million annually.