First the old news out of the collapsed special legislative session: There's still no plan to account for the coming loss of nearly $1 billion in tax revenue once that revenue drops off the books this summer.
Now the new news: While there was some pre-session optimism that getting everyone together in Baton Rouge would facilitate communication and understanding among warring factions in the state House, the opposite happened. One of the many events that torpedoed an agreement was a dispute over which half of a compromise between Republicans and Democrats would come up for a vote first.
Really, that's it.
But it was enough to tank a ridiculously fragile agreement to support a small income tax increase, much smaller than the current temporary one, as well as an income tax measure that would hit only the wealthy.
Democrats wanted to vote first on their favored measure, the income tax bill. But the Republican leadership put the sales tax bill, which more of its members backed, up first. Then a critical mass of Democrats cast "no" votes, on the apparent theory that they didn't believe the Republicans would actually hold up their end of the hard-fought bargain.
As Democratic House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger III put it: "There is not a lot of trust in the body right now." Leger himself sponsored the income tax part of the compromise, yet he too voted "no," on the sales tax piece.
That was Sunday night. Lawmakers came back for one more try on Monday, but by then it was obvious that this situation wasn't salvageable, and the recriminations were already flying. Expect that to continue through this coming Monday, when everyone will gather in Baton Rouge once more, this time for a regular session in which they can't even consider solutions to the state's most pressing problem.
Anyone predicting it will be productive just hasn't been paying attention.
The special session's slow-moving collapse has come to an end at the Louisiana Capitol with the state no closer to bridging a looming budget g…
When the regular legislative session ended last year, lawmakers adjourned without mustering the political will to pass a budget, the one task …