Sue Lincoln

At a press conference Friday, with the special session ending at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Governor John Bel Edwards made his displeasure crystal clear.

“As of today, the Legislature has failed to come anywhere close to solving the problem.”

Audio Pending...

While lawmakers are closer to balancing the current year budget, they’ve done little to address the next year’s estimated $2.2-billion hole.  More than a few senators have said another special session will be required to fix that.

S. Lincoln

After the Senate Finance Committee advanced HB 122 Thursday -- with less draconian cuts than its author Cameron Henry wanted -- the full House did pass the cigarette tax hike.

“It would bring in an additional 16 million in fiscal year ‘16; $47-million in fiscal year ’17,” its author, Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger explained.

But the House did little else to advance bills for alleviating the state budget shortfalls.

Over on the Senate floor, though, the stress of that little progress was showing as senators worked through the limited options passed on by the House.

Rex Fortenberry

The Senate and the Administration, fed up with the standoff forced by the House this week, have drawn their lines in the sand today.

A House resolution to require the Edwards administration to start cancelling all state contracts still needs House concurrence on Senate changes, yet Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne showed good faith by submitting a report on the 50 top-dollar contracts to House Appropriations today.

After thanking Dardenne for the information, Covington Rep. John Schroder apologized the the difficulty this has created.

On day eighteen of the twenty-five day Special Legislative Session, the Senate Finance Committee took public testimony on Representative Cameron Henry’s HB 122.  The bill calls for additional cuts to current state spending above and beyond those outlined by Governor Edwards.

Such A Deal!

Mar 2, 2016
S. Lincoln

As we wait for lawmakers to decide about cutting public school funding, higher education and health care, and about raising the sales tax while limiting personal income tax exemptions, perhaps it’s time to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

“The net corporate collections? Minus $210-million,” Legislative Fiscal Analyst Greg Albrecht says of the state’s current balance sheet. 

He has also stated it looks like the state will continue to pay out more to business than it collects from them.