The 2015 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature was very active one for the Louisiana Association of Wholesalers. There were a number of tobacco tax bills that had the potential to cripple our industry. In addition, proposals that were moving through the legislative process were subject to being amended in a way that would have harmed our ability to do business in the State of Louisiana. There were numerous attempts to place hostile amendments on to bills that had otherwise been negotiated. Amendments to add a floor tax to the cigarette and vapor legislation (HB 119) and to eliminate our stamping discount were offered and accepted in the Senate. We were able to strip the floor tax amendment in the House and allow the bill that eliminated our stamping discount to die on the House Floor. We were also able to pass two other bills that provided for a new minimum pricing formula and a bad debt bill.
We had a very successful legislative session in 2015. We were able to manage our tobacco tax, avoid effort to add detrimental language to tobacco bills moving through the process and pass two significant pieces of legislation. In 2015, the entire legislature and all statewide offices are on the ballot. We expect a hotly contested Governor's race as well as nearly every statewide office. We also expect a significant turnover in the Louisiana Legislature. A number of legislators are terming out and others are opting out of running for reelection. The 2015 Regular Session was one of the most contentious sessions in Louisiana history. LAW was one of the few groups that was able to work through the process and improve our position as an industry. As we turn our attention to the Fall Elections, we are well positioned to continue our success as an industry.
Pay careful attention to your local legislative races and get involved. With a high turnover in the legislature and a new Governor in 2016, we will need all the help we can get. Every vote counts and every legislator is that potential vote in the process.