House Speaker Taylor Barras

Laura Baker

“We are attempting to start on time, but as we work through these negotiations, we want to make sure we have every opportunity to hear from everyone,” Speaker Taylor Barras apologized, as the House started more than three hours late Monday afternoon.

Leaders from both chambers were meeting, still trying to find agreement on how much of the Rainy Day Fund to use for the shortfall.

Alyssa Eilers

After passing two budget cutting bills on to the House floor Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee spent much of its meeting time today arguing a measure that was shot down in the Senate last year.

“Had we pulled the trigger on this last year, we would be $74,558,000 to the good, that we would not be looking for today,” House Speaker Taylor Barras said of his resolution.

Sue Lincoln

“Do I have any good news here I can give you?” Legislative Fiscal Analyst Greg Albrecht asked the Revenue Estimating Conference Friday.

“I am even more pessimistic than Greg,” said the Division of Administration's fiscal analyst, Manfred Dix, “So I don’t think the honorable panel wants to hear much what I have to say.”

Both knew the numbers they were giving weren’t what members of the budget forecasting panel wanted to hear.


Louisiana House of Representatives Broadcast Archives

The Revenue Estimating Conference met Tuesday to determine just how many millions short the state’s budget will be for the current fiscal year.

“Somewhere between 257 [million] and 464 [million] is a real adjustment that will need to be made,” explained Speaker of the House Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia).  

That's in addition to the $313 million shortfall in last year's budget, both of which must be accounted for by June 30th, the end of this fiscal year.


Media Commons

Certain conservative lawmakers had their last hope for a magical pot of budget-saving money dashed Monday, when Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne updated the Joint Budget Committee on state contracts.

la.gov

With the House and Senate taking today off, this is a chance to update you on some of what happened in the flurry of activity, changing over from the regular session to the second special session.

S. Lincoln

“Don’t make any plans yet,” House Speaker Taylor Barras told the lower chamber’s members. “We have only next week and four days after that to complete the work – not counting the weekend dates.”

Barras is apparently attempting better play clock management in this second special session than during the first special session earlier this year, as he gave representatives a rundown of the plan of attack.

Sue Lincoln

“One thing about budget strife is it gets a lot more folks to the table, thinking a little bit more outside the box than we’ve ever thought before,” says House Speaker Taylor Barras.

But is Barras going to broker a solution or encourage continued strife?  A panel discussion put on by the Public Affairs Research Council last Friday last week gave some insight into the Speaker, and the conflicts between his House and the John Bel Edwards administration.

Sue Lincoln

There were sighs of relief as the special session ended promptly at 6:00 Wednesday night.

“We leave here tonight being able to defend what we’ve done, and being able to explain to the people of Louisiana that we did what we were asked here to do,” House Speaker Taylor Barras told the lower chamber.

Senate President John Alario, though, sighed with frustration at the end.

“I want to apologize to you for what happened here tonight,” a tearful Alario told the upper chamber. “That’s not the way to conduct the people’s business.”

Sue Lincoln

At a press conference Friday, with the special session ending at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Governor John Bel Edwards made his displeasure crystal clear.

“As of today, the Legislature has failed to come anywhere close to solving the problem.”

While lawmakers are closer to balancing the current year budget, they’ve done little to address the next year’s estimated $2.2-billion hole.  More than a few senators have said another special session will be required to fix that.