2015 Year-End Report



2015 Year-End Report

(click here to view/print the pdf version)


Thanks to the outstanding support from our members across the state, C100, Louisiana's Business Roundtable, had a tremendous year in 2015. Membership is strong and member engagement reached new heights. And, together with our partners in the business community and our new governor, C100 is making a significant impact on public policy with our Fiscal Reform Strategy. I want to thank you all for your leadership, partnership and support during 2015.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!
Michael Olivier, CEcD
Fall Meeting 2015 - Fiscal reform
Our fall meeting took place Nov. 10 at the Lod Cook Center on the LSU Campus. It was our first opportunity to present the findings of the Tax Foundation’s analysis of the Louisiana Tax Code with recommendations in the form of a menu of options that could be pursued by our 2016 Legislature and Governor.


C100 creates fiscal reform plan
Serving as Louisiana's business roundtable, we completed a review of the state's fiscal operations in reaction to the continual fiscal crisis that Louisiana has faced annually, and is projected to continue into the foreseeable future. The primary contributing factor to Louisiana's fiscal crisis is the structural budget deficit that has developed from budgetary and policy decisions over a number of years and now threatens our priorities. It's time for good public policy to rule over politics.
Our new governor and legislature will have the great opportunity for major fiscal reform to provide for a more secure future for our state, and C100 stands ready to assist the next governor and legislature in accomplishing this objective. Louisiana's budget structure has over 400 statutory and constitutional constraints which effectively limit the majority of budget adjustments to healthcare and higher education.
"To provide for a stable, predictable, and equitable fiscal structure, our next Governor and Legislature must commit themselves to a multi-year effort to responsibly realign our revenue stream to our spending priorities in a manner that will sustain and expand our state's economic growth. We must recognize that there are no easy or quick fixes. Success will require a comprehensive review and correction of the causes of our structural budget deficit problems and not simply reducing spending or increasing taxes. C100 understands that this will require the engagement and support of the business community and we are ready to lead in that effort." Tom Clark, Chairman C100.
One focal area of interest is the financial crisis faced by our post-secondary education institutions. These institutions not only develop our workforce, but provide the clearest path out of poverty and into financial self-sufficiency and economic prosperity. Given the extensive opportunities for employment in our State, higher education can no longer withstand the devastating and unpredictable cuts to our schools that have resulted from our fiscal practices. We need to review and reform how we fund post-secondary education to achieve stability and predictability so these institutions can perform effectively and responsively.
A multitude of other fiscal reforms need to be considered, such as streamlined tax collection practices; simplifying taxes making them flatter and broader based; modernizing our pension programs through best practices; improving infrastructure; and directly addressing our costly penal and civil justice system. All of these are tough issues for which there is no easy resolution and many will take more than one legislative session to fix.
To provide guidance in this process, C100 engaged the Tax Foundation, the nation's leading independent tax policy research organization, and the LSU Public Administration Institute to work with stakeholders such as the Public Affairs Research Council, the Council for a Better Louisiana, and the Louisiana Budget Project to produce a fiscal reform program that includes a tax reform component informed by best practices and practical experience.
A summary of these findings has been released with a full booklet and accompanying analysis, available at www.C100LA.org. C100 hopes that this menu of solutions will provide Governor John Bel Edwards and the Legislature with ideas on "best policy practices" to stabilize our tax base and simplify our tax code. These recommendations focus on how Louisiana's four major tax systems-- sales taxes, individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, and property taxes- could be improved to accomplish fiscal reform. The alternatives outlined in the plan also address transportation infrastructure, prevent budgetary distress brought on by revenue volatility, and would require periodic review of the efficacy of tax incentive programs.
Fiscal briefing | Roadshow
Michael Olivier addressing attendees at the Ruston fiscal briefing at the Davison Athletics Complex, Jan. 5.
Beginning with our Fall Meeting, the C100 created a “roadshow” to deliver the Tax Foundation findings across the state. Starting in November and up until the special legislative session in February, fiscal strategy briefings took place in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport, Ruston, Monroe, Houma, New Orleans, Hammond and Natchitoches. Our fiscal reform message was received by over 700 attendees, including legislators, local public officials, business leaders and other stakeholders. The roadshows were supported by a partnership of experts from the Tax Foundation, LSU Public Administration Institute, Public Affairs Research Council, Council for a Better Louisiana, the Louisiana Budget Project and Rep. Julie Stokes – District 79 - House Ways & Means Committee. A special briefing was also provided to the Fiscal Transition Team of Governor John Bel Edwards. Copies of the speakers’ presentations can be found on our website, here. To view the summary and photos of the briefings can be opened here.
Alignment optimization
As we considered how the C100 would influence the upcoming deliberations on fiscal reform in Louisiana, two primary objectives emerged: (1) to be a leading and unifying voice for positive change; and, (2) to advocate for the diverse interests of our membership. To achieve these objectives, we understand the need for clarity that comes from understanding the opinions of our members, partner organizations and legislative leaders and focus that comes from alignment of purpose.
We are working with Da Vinci Global Consulting, LLC, an innovative leader and expert in the growing management science of Alignment Optimization, which was exactly the process we needed to support the C100 initiative. Alignment Optimization is the only methodology able to quantify an organization’s degree of alignment, maximize its intellectual capital, and focus the conversation specifically where misalignment is blocking progress and success.
As importantly, all of that is accomplished in one-third the time, capturing the opinions of all stakeholders, with just 25 percent of the hassles as compared to other approaches. A side benefit of engaging Da Vinci is for C100 members to gain exposure and understanding of the management science around Alignment Optimization.
C100 Members Appointed to Transition Teams
C100 members who were appointed this fall to Governor John Bel Edward's transition teams: Sonia Perez, President of AT&T Louisiana; Kris Kirkpatrick, Long Law firm; Phillip May, President of Entergy Louisiana; Jeff Jenkins, Bernhard Capital Partners; Bobby Savoie, Geocent; Glen Smith, Magnolia Companies, Wayne Brown, Brown Builders; Darren Olagues, CLECO; Jamie Schlottman, Centene Corporation; Jacqui Vines, Cox Communications, Dr. Phillip Rozeman Cardiologist, and Joe Savoie, UL Lafayette President.
Early Childhood Business Roundtable
Following C100’s Workforce priority we launched the establishment of an Early Childhood Business Roundtable for 2016 partnering with the Policy Institute for Children. Operating under a grant from Entergy Louisiana, our goal is to stand up a Roundtable of 20 business leaders statewide who have a passion for early childhood education and will be Champions of early childhood public policy.
The Roundtable will work to educate and engage the business community, policy makers and the media to promote early childhood care and education in Louisiana. These activities are designed to support the continuation and expansion of The Policy Institute’s mission of ensuring that Louisiana's children are ready for success in school and in life.
After an organizational meeting in Baton Rouge in December, a January 12th meeting was held in Lafayette to bring awareness of the roundtable and its program of work. Several more meetings are planned in Shreveport-Bossier, Lake Charles, New Orleans and Natchitoches. Meeting details are available at www.C100LA.org/ec_roundtable.
C100 Annual Spring Meeting, May 12, 2016
Please mark your calendars for the upcoming Spring Meeting, Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Old State Capital building in Baton Rouge. A reception will be held the evening before at the Camelot Club in downtown. The 2016 program will feature the Governor and legislative leadership reporting on legislative issues moving through the 2016 session. More information on how to RSVP will be sent to C100 members soon.
C100 staff updates
Melody Woodworth served the Committee of 100 for almost six years and is to be congratulated on her new job as the Executive Director of the Hammond Area Economic and Industrial Development District and the Hammond Downtown Development District. Adell Cairns joined the C100 staff, assisting with our organization’s daily operations and communication needs. Adell is a Louisiana native, La. Tech University alumnus and comes to us with a background in corporate communications as a manager at Arrow Electronics and corporate trainer at TD Ameritrade in Denver, Colo. She can be reached at cairns@C100LA.org and the C100 main phone number.
A Letter from our Chairman
Happy New Year and as it arrives early this year, Happy Mardi Gras!
Dear C100 members,
The second half of 2015 was an exceptionally active period for C100 as we held our Fall meeting and rolled out our Fiscal Reform plan, then engaged in the beginning of our road show presentations that are continuing into 2016.
Our organization’s engagement has been recognized by Governor Edwards and his administration through appointments of numerous members to various transition teams as well as support of our adopted approach of providing nonpartisan, objectively sourced and supported data to assist in addressing the substantial fiscal challenges with which our State is unfortunately saddled.
Throughout this process, C100 is understood to be one of the leading voices of business and industry in this State. With the appointments of Jay Dardenne as our new Commissioner of Administration, Don Pierson as Secretary of Economic Development, and Kimberly Robinson as Secretary of Revenue, each of whom has supported and participated in C100 events through the years, we are further poised to provide the support and insight to our public official partners in the form and manner for which C100 was initially created twenty four years ago.

In addition to our efforts in presenting, developing and promotions options for fiscal reform, C100 was:
  • selected to foster the Early Childhood Business Roundtable which will facilitate a greater understanding of the relationship between business needs and early childhood education and development;
  • hosted the Ambassador from Australia; and
  • supported our higher education partners through our engagement in the Board of Regents Stakeholders meetings
...all of which ties directly to our fundamental mission of promoting positive economic development endeavors in our State.
As I look forward to 2016, I assure you that C100 will continue to engage respectfully, thoughtfully and effectively in the political process as we collectively work through the challenges our State faces.
Respectfully,
Tom Clark, Chairman