Walt Leger

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


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

Nearly all of us are familiar with the image from “The Wizard of Oz” that accompanies the line, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Yet for the past several days, House Republicans have been publicly pulling the curtain back on the dysfunctional aspects of this session.


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There is much that divides Louisiana’s lawmakers, but when it comes to criminal justice reform and reinvestment…

“Representative Leger and I finally found something we can agree on,” Denham Springs Republican Valarie Hodges said, with a laugh.

“Love it!” New Orleans Democrat Walt Leger responded.


Tax philosophies seem to be nearly as numerous as tax reform bills filed this session. As the House Ways and Means Committee took testimony on 20 measures dealing with corporate taxes Wednesday, those philosophies were on display.


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

“We have done the most comprehensive study of Louisiana’s criminal justice system in the history of our state,” Corrections Secretary Jimmy Leblanc said, as the Justice Reinvestment Task Force presented its final report, including 27 recommendations aimed at reducing Louisiana’s “world’s highest” incarceration rate.


Mark Carroll

“Rainy Day – that’s really all that divides us. It should be the last thing we do, not the first thing we look at.”

House leaders made a strategic decision Friday to first hear the budget-cutting bill that uses none of the Rainy Day Fund.