Even if it collapses, you can't say that the quick special legislative aimed at averting a $1 billion budget shortfall has been devoid of accomplishments. Several revenue raising bills have made it out of the conservative-tilting House Ways and Means Committee, a panel that Gov. John Bel Edwards has frequently criticized for killing every idea it sees. Two years and seven regular and special sessions into Edwards' term, that counts as progress.
Whether it's meaningful progress is another question.
The state House burst through a logjam that has kept most important pieces of legislation holed up in committee this special session, during a…
After hitting another special session impasse on Monday that prompted several public disagreements among leaders, the state House will wait un…
As of now, it seems that a difficult fight over the weekend in committee was only a preview of the conflict to come, this time among members of the full House. Seventy out of 105 votes are needed to pass tax measures, and so far none of the proposals appear to have anywhere near that level of support.
Some Republicans are only open to keeping some of the temporary sales tax increases they adopted two years ago. An idea more popular among Democrats is to roll back an income tax break for filers who itemize on their federal taxes. Both ideas made it out of committee Sunday.
Members of the Legislative Black Caucus are also pushing to change the income tax brackets to raise more money from middle and upper class taxpayers. Edwards had included the possibility in the initial session call but has not embraced the idea, which is anathema to conservatives. And some Republicans refuse to vote for any tax at all, even a renewal of one that already exists.
After months of talks, Edwards and House Speaker Taylor Barras are openly sniping at one another. And Monday, lawmakers decided to take Tuesday off and reconvene Wednesday, one week before the session must end, to see if they can get anything through the full House.
The Senate's waiting. So are all the people who wonder if services they rely upon will be cut, if the full House can't find a way to get to yes.
For two years now, conservative Republicans and Democrats led by Gov. John Bel Edwards have been clashing at the State Capitol over how to fin…