Lance Harris

Wallis Watkins

Louisiana’s House of Representatives is still sharply divided over how to fix the fiscal cliff. The House was finally set to vote on tax and budget bills Wednesday, but when members took to the floor hours behind schedule, it still wasn’t clear if they were any closer to a compromise. 

Fiscal Myopia: Legislative Nearsightedness

Aug 14, 2017
wikimedia commons

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.


Highs and Lows As House Tries to Beat the Clock

Jun 6, 2017
lsmsa.edu

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.


Parole Fee Bill Prompts Verbal Battle

May 29, 2017
screenshot: legis.la.gov

When House Republican Caucus chair Lance Harris squared off with New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson – who is the chair of the state Democratic Party, it was partisan pugilism of the verbal variety.

Harris’ bill to increase parole fees by 50% was the issue.


Discouraging Words: Week 6 in Review

May 19, 2017
Sue Lincoln

Governor John Bel Edwards saw some victories for his agenda in the Senate this week, with the advancement of criminal justice reforms and anti-discrimination legislation, as well as a bill to increase the minimum wage. The House, on the other hand?

“Quite frankly, I’m disappointed – particularly in the House,” the governor said, with a sigh.


Criminal Justice Issues Dominate

May 3, 2017
Sue Lincoln

So much social media and conventional media attention in the capital city has been focused on rumors about the Department of Justice release of the Alton Sterling report, late yesterday afternoon, I went to the person who requested the investigation—Governor John Bel Edwards – and asked him what he had heard about the imminent release of the report.


wikimedia commons

“We’re trying to get away from having consistent midyear cuts, which, as of right now, the only way I can think of doing it is not appropriating all of the money,” House Appropriations chair Cameron Henry said, as he called for his committee to approve what he referred to as a “standstill” budget, spending just 97.5% of the revenue forecast for the next fiscal year.


Sculpting the Budget

May 1, 2017
wikimedia commons

After several weeks of examining the material they have to work with, the House Appropriations Committee begins sculpting the budget bill today. It’s clear they intend to use their chisels now, rather than later.


Week 2: Variegated Voices, Minimal Movement

Apr 21, 2017
Sue Lincoln

The second week of the session brought a kaleidoscope of activity to the Capitol, as color co-ordinated citizen activist groups and students sporting blue, yellow, red, green and/or purple  rallied on the steps and then cornered their lawmakers urging votes for equal pay, criminal justice reform, and mostly for more funding.


Sue Lincoln

“I intend to issue a call to bring the Legislature into session to address the shortfall,” Governor John Bel Edwards told the Joint Budget Committee Friday. He advised them to prepare to be in session from February 13th through 23rd.


Pages