$3.7B Louisiana school financing formula gets House support

Erica Roy
June 3, 2017

Gov. John Bel Edwards is calling a special legislative session to start next week, a precaution for the possibility that he won't reach an agreement with lawmakers on Louisiana's budget and that the House won't resolve an impasse over a construction financing bill. "Make no mistake, this budget will still impose painful spending cuts, but it does so in a way that won't overly burden citizens of the state", he said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Smith said before lawmakers unlock protected funds, they should look at the $7 billion spent annually on various tax break programs.

"I just felt like it was important to let people know who we could count on and who we couldn't count on", said Roger Villere Jr., chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana.

Expecting pushback from House lawmakers, LaFleur defended the Senate approach: "This is a budget that has a great deal of austerity in it".

"We used the money the House left out to fill in the voids", Erdey said. Senators added the $206 million - and other dollars they identified - back into the spending plans.

Edwards and state agency leaders said without that money, prisoners would be released early, health programs would shutter and critical services would be damaged.

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"That would be a struggle, to use all of it", he said. Otherwise, the special session can run through midnight June 19.

Backers of the increase had to round up at least 70 votes in the 105-member House - a two-thirds majority - to move the issue to the state Senate, always a huge lift politically. Those remaining bills were not accounted for in the House budget plan.

Republicans and Democrats have been meeting privately to broker a compromise. House Bill 3, now being held captive by House Democrats, is the instrument by which local construction projects are funding through bonds. "We're working in the right direction".

It was a big day at the state capitol in Baton Rouge today as legislators near the end of this year's legislative session.

Four items will be considered during this special session.

He rebuked House colleagues Tuesday for their inaction on taxes, despite calls for tax reform to stabilize Louisiana's finances and despite a looming budget gap when more than $1 billion in temporary taxes expire in mid-2018.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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