Cameron Henry

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The approaching fiscal cliff has prompted a whole lot of meetings lately – behind closed doors.

“I’m very optimistic that we’re going to get it done, working with these business roundtable meetings and the legislative leadership in both the House and the Senate,” Governor John Bel Edwards said, following his meeting with business leaders in Bossier City last week.

In the past month, he has also met with business owners and representatives in Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Houma, and New Orleans. However, House Appropriations chairman Cameron Henry isn’t favorably impressed.

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Now that we’ve established that many state lawmakers suffer from fiscal myopia, are they doing any envisioning – however fuzzy the view – toward Louisiana’s future? Representative Steve Carter, a Baton Rouge Republican, says it’s not the first time he’s been asked that question.


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Having worn glasses since I was six years old, I'm very familiar with myopia, which is also known as nearsightedness. Lately it seems some lawmakers have it, too, when it comes to Louisiana's fiscal issues.


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A somber mood dominated the Capitol Wednesday, following the early morning news that Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise had been shot.


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“The more we fund this year, the bigger the fiscal cliff is going to be next year. And we can’t sustain more taxes. It’s irresponsible!”

Representative Valarie Hodges (R-Denham Springs) summed up the thinking of a majority of House Appropriations committee members, as special session budget hearings began where the regular session left off – with a bill that doesn’t spend all the estimated revenue.


Wallis Watkins

It appeared no lawmakers wanted a special session, so when Appropriations chair Cameron Henry told the House there was no budget deal – with 30 minutes left on the regular session clock -- the end of the regular session turned into something resembling a bench-clearing brawl.


Sue Lincoln

“I would ask that you reject House Bill 1 and sent it to conference.”

And, as usual, the House has refused to concur with the Senate changes to the budget, HB 1, but Appropriations chairman Cameron Henry says that’s a normal part of the process: “House Bill 1 always goes to conference.”


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The House worked long and hard Monday, passing Senate bills before the session countdown clock required shifting to a two-thirds majority vote on all items.


Sue Lincoln

“They’re willing, apparently, to leave here without funding the government. Then why should we fund any other part of it?”

Franklin Representative Sam Jones is referring to the Republican House leadership. He is one of the House Democrats who blocked HB 3, the capital outlay funding bill, Wednesday evening.


Nothing Personal

May 15, 2017
Sue Lincoln

The friction between House Republican leadership and Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards is no secret. But is it just partisan politics, or is it personal? I sat down with House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry to try and find out.

“The governor and I get along just fine,” Henry insisted. “We went deer hunting once, duck hunting twice last season. No, personally, he and I get along just fine.”

Henry admits he has some philosophical differences with the governor when it comes to budgeting.

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