WRKF News

legis.la.gov

“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.


Sue Lincoln

To the uninitiated, this final day of the session may look like one long cocktail party, with knots of people conversing quietly here and there, as both the House and Senate take lengthy recesses. But those clusters of conversation are actually conference committees, working to resolve differences over the contents of bills.

I sat down with the man who knows the most about conference committees – John Alario. Having served as Speaker twice and Senate President twice, he says there is a strategy to picking the three conferees from each chamber.

Sue Lincoln

“I would ask that you reject House Bill 1 and sent it to conference.”

And, as usual, the House has refused to concur with the Senate changes to the budget, HB 1, but Appropriations chairman Cameron Henry says that’s a normal part of the process: “House Bill 1 always goes to conference.”


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.


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.


Sue Lincoln

“I was just looking at the definition of ‘austere’: ‘a situation in which there is not much money and it is spent only on things that are necessary’,” Senate Finance chairman Eric LaFleur remarked, as he unveiled his committee’s proposed changes to the House budget bill.

screenshot from legis.la.gov

Though it’s not yet a done deal, criminal justice reform is nearing the legislative finish line.


Failure To Act

May 31, 2017
Louisiana House of Representatives Broadcast Archives

In a legislative session where tax reform has been a key focus, the one and only comprehensive tax reform package has failed. 


lpb.org

“There isn’t a whole lot looks like that’s going to get accomplished in this session.”

Senate President John Alario admits he’s feeling pessimistic as we head into the final nine days of this fiscal session, and what happens today may tell the tale of the session’s success or failure.


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