Louisiana House Chamber before special session begins

Paperwork has been distributed and extra chairs have been set up in the Louisiana House chamber ready for Gov. John Bel Edwards' address to legislators at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, 2018. The 17-day special session aims to address a $1 billion deficit in the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Advocate Photo by Mark Ballard

Wasn't Groundhog Day last month?

It certainly feels like a month since we've been watching the Louisiana House come close to striking a deal to keep the doors open once about $1 billion or so in temporary taxes drop off the books July 1, only to see negotiations implode. Actually, the special session that ends by Wednesday started Feb. 19, several weeks after Puxatawney Phil saw his shadow and foreshadowed a long winter up north.

Winter's definitely turned to spring around here, but otherwise it feels like we're all Bill Murray, destined to repeat the same day until it finally comes out right. The past week has featured one last-ditch effort after another to come up with some combination of sales and income tax adjustments that a supermajority of House members will support — without letting philosophical differences and/or petty partisan politics spoil the whole thing.

The most recent "last ditch" came Sunday night, when an apparent deal broke down amid Democratic suspicion that, if most of the party's lawmakers voted for a sales tax proposal, Republicans would not really support an income tax measure favored by Democrats next. The sales tax proposal went down, and lawmakers said they'd try yet again late Monday. So apparently there's at least one more ditch still to come.

Kind of makes you wonder whether we need some new metaphors.

That, or else some new legislators.

Louisiana House rejects crucial tax bill again; here's where legislators might go next

Louisiana House rejects crucial tax bill again; here's where legislators might go next

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.