FY 2018 budget

Sue Lincoln

“Come July 1, we are all tumbling off the cliff together,” Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne warned the Baton Rouge Rotary Club.


Sue Lincoln

“I move the House of Representatives adjourn sine die,” the “dean” of the House Andy Anders intoned Friday evening, receiving cheers in response.

The second special session of the year delivered a budget only marginally different than the one proposed by the Senate during the regular session. That had many – including Governor John Bel Edwards – wondering aloud whether the special session had truly been necessary.

screenshot from legis.la.gov

“This is essentially the same bill that we passed out a couple of weeks ago, that we thought was responsible and made complete sense,” Senate Finance chair Eric LaFleur told his committee. “It just took a little, a week I think, for the House to come around. And I don’t foresee it getting any better than it is now.”


courtesy: youtube

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


wikimedia commons

“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.


legis.la.gov

“We are a body that’s in complete chaos. The House doesn’t have leadership,” says Baton Rouge Representative Ted James.

A Democrat, James has used his Friday, Saturday  and Sunday away from the Capitol to talk with other members about making a change in House leadership: in particular, “The Speaker, the Chairman of Appropriations.”


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.”


Sue Lincoln

“I was just looking at the definition of ‘austere’: ‘a situation in which there is not much money and it is spent only on things that are necessary’,” Senate Finance chairman Eric LaFleur remarked, as he unveiled his committee’s proposed changes to the House budget bill.

Compare and Contrast

May 22, 2017
screenshots: S. Lincoln

Secretary of State Tom Schedler and Attorney General Jeff Landry have some similarities: both are statewide elected officials, both are Republicans, and both are frustrated with the proposed state budget. But their reasons are entirely different.


Pages