There was a breakthrough at the State Capitol Monday during the second special session.
After a second try, House lawmakers approved a sales tax proposal that would help avoid some of the deep cuts to healthcare and education. The bill renews one-third of an expiring one percent sales tax, as well as eliminates some tax breaks.
The passage came after members of the House got another push from the governor’s office Monday morning to get moving and introduce HB1 for the state’s budget.
The email was apparently meant to remind lawmakers about HB1 and to clear up what some referred to as misconceptions. The email went on to say that the governor’s prior veto of the budget does not mean that lawmakers will have to start over from scratch to make up that $650 million cliff.
Representatives who spoke to KATC had a variety of responses to the message, from concerns about time constraints, to support of the rush order by the governor’s office.
"And if one doesn’t get filed, then whatever revenues we raise, a budget won’t be in place so he’s going to have to call another special session. No one wants another special session. It’s going to cost the tax payers money," said Rep. Dustin Miller(D).
"I think people expect to have input on the process and public testimony and that’s what I’m expecting as well. I’m concerned that we don’t have enough time to get the public testimony that people of the state of Louisiana expect," said Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan(R).
"I think the governor has taken a leadership position and told the legislature as well as our citizens what we are facing," said Rep. Terry Landry(D).
The governor’s office would like to see a budget done by June 4th.