Taylor Barras

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How should Louisiana solve for its upcoming $1.4-billion fiscal cliff? This time last year, hopes focused on the work of the Tax Structure Task Force and its recommendations. But as House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger said on “Talk Louisiana”, we all know how that turned out.


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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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When will lawmakers be called back for the next special session to deal with the fiscal cliff?

“You know, that’s a good question,” Governor John Bel Edwards said, when asked. “And I truly don’t know.”


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.

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“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.


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The full House put a number of bills through the mill Thursday, having some bi-partisan fun along the way.

“This is my rescue-a-Republican-bill day,” New Iberia Democrat Terry Landry joked, as he helped Denham Springs Republican Valerie Hodges pass her ignition interlock bill.


Sue Lincoln

Earlier this week, at the Board of Regents Summit, House Speaker Taylor Barras and Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger talked funding for higher education in the upcoming session, starting with full funding for TOPS.


Sue Lincoln

With the bang of the gavel and a call of “The Senate will come to order. Mr Secretary, open the machines for roll call,” thus began the final day of the special session.


The Art of the Barter

Feb 22, 2017
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Both the full House and Senate convened yesterday afternoon, but their business was brief, and more procedural than substantive.