WRKF News

Sue Lincoln

The longest day of the legislative year began with the Revenue Estimating Conference dashing some House members hopes for more money.

“Is there any reason to change that forecast?” REC chairman Jim Richardson asked.

“Based on what we’ve heard, it seems to me that there is no reason to change the forecast,” Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne responded.

“Mr. Speaker?”

“Mr. Chairman, I would agree,” House Speaker Taylor Barras responded, with a sigh.

Sue Lincoln

 It’s budget day, as the full House considers HB 1. Opinions on the current position of the bill are varied.

“HB 1 as it stands right now is an absolute disaster,” says Minden Democrat Gene Reynolds.

Monroe Democrat Marcus Hunter concurs.

“I think it’s a deplorable piece of legislation,” he says.

Baton Rouge Republican Barry Ivey thinks it’s just fine.

“I believe that, at the end, the solutions and the funding – everything’s going to work out,” Ivey said.

LOSFA

The House Education committee advanced a bill Tuesday changing TOPS allocations during a budget shortfall. Committee chair Nancy Landry is the author.

“If there was a five percent shortage, then everyone would get five percent less,” she explained.


Sue Lincoln

As House Appropriations took up the budget bill Monday, it sounded like the Governor and Approps chair Cameron Henry might finally be on the same page.

“The good news is: there are no fund sweeps. There are no one-time revenues lined up against recurring expenditures,” Governor John Bel Edwards told the Baton Rouge Press Club, while Henry told his committee:

“We do not have any use of one-time money for re-occuring expenses, or sweeping of funds. And I’ll give this administration for only spending the money that we actually have.”

Sue Lincoln

It’s budget week in the House.

“We’re about to get real busy,” Legislative Fiscal Analyst Greg Albrecht says. with a chuckle.

Good thing he’s upbeat, because he’ll be kept jumping to crunch the numbers on every proposed change to HB 1.

What will those changes look like? Governor John Bel Edwards isn’t sure.

Pages