LA Sen. Eric LaFleur

California Dairy Commission

There have been food safety regulations since at least the time Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.

“Our Creator did not instruct them to cook their raw milk before consuming it,” said North Louisiana dairy goat farmer Matt Knapper.

And for the third year in a row, lawmakers considered a bill to permitting the sale of raw milk in Louisiana. 

  Senator Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte is the author.

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

The Senate Finance Committee met Thursday to get an update on the state budget crisis.

“It’s almost all minus signs,” Legislative Fiscal Analyst Greg Albrecht told lawmakers, with a sigh.

Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur asked for details on how this happened, and Albrecht ran it down.

Both the House and Senate worked over the weekend. Yet even Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield – the governor’s point man on tax increases and tax offsets -- notes the two chambers do not appear to be working together.

“There’s a lot of people posturing and a lot of politics right now,” Barfield observes, “So I don’t know what will happen in the end.”

The rift centers on the SAVE plan, creating a college fee that students won’t pay, offset by tax credits paid to higher education. After House Ways and Means killed the bill last week, its author, Senate Finance chair Jack Donahue, resurrected it. He did so by amending the language from his SB 284 onto three other tax bills, each authored by House Ways and Means chairman Joel Robideaux.

“We have told the Governor we give up. We’re ready to go home,” Senator Robert Adley announced, prompting laughter from his fellow lawmakers, as Senate President John Alario responded, “Very good.”

2014 can be viewed as a session of hits and misses. Governor Jindal told the press he believes he scored a hit with his budget, which includes pay raises for state workers, as well as a bit more money for higher education.