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Acadiana lawmakers frustrated with special session outcome

Posted: 5:15 PM, Jun 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-05 18:15:13-04

Gov. Edwards said that he will call a third special session this year to fill the state’s budget gap.

The second special session ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning with a budget, but without taxes to fund it. An outcome that left Acadiana lawmakers frustrated.

"These are real issues. This deals with real people. It’s time for the legislature to take care of real business," said Sen. Gerald Boudreaux (D). 

With yet another special session now to come, Boudreaux said it’s past time for legislators to start getting serious. 

"This is not a game. This is dealing with people’s lives. Whether we’re talking about our partner hospitals, whether we’re talking about higher ed, whether we’re talking about TOPS. We’re talking about nursing homes. We’re talking about making sure that our sheriffs, our DAs, our judiciary is fully funded," said Boudreaux.

Monday night the house voted down two taxes that would have generated additional revenue to fund the budget, failing to get the 70 votes needed to pass.

"There’s a portion of the legislature that will never vote on a tax. There’s a pretty big majority that realizes we need additional revenue, but we’d like to see some cuts. Finding that compromise and finding that balance, in my opinion, is what’s holding this process up," said Rep. John Stefanski (R).

With each day of a special session costing nearly $60,000 in taxpayer money, lawmakers said they want to find a way to reach common ground.

"We’ve had ample time. We had a special session before this session started. We had a full regular session. We ended it early so that we could come in to this special session to try to save the taxpayer’s money," said Stefanski.