Third Special Session: still no solution with less than a week to go

Posted at 10:15 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 23:15:41-04

With less than a week to go, still no solution on the state’s budget shortfall.

At issue, taxes to fund the budget passed in the regular session.

The governor is calling on lawmakers to renew half of an expiring one-percent sales tax.

Thursday, one tax proposal was rejected and another, by Rep. Bishop R-Lafayette, was pulled from consideration.

The house is expected to continue the debate Friday morning at 9:30.

Lawmakers are reluctant to vote for the half-percent sales tax, so negotiations will continue.

Much of the day was spent negotiating Rep. Paula Davis R-Baton Rouge bill and whether or not to levy a .4 percent sales tax or half cent. Davis’ proposal would extend .4 percent of the expiring sales tax, but it was later amended on the House floor. Davis did not end up supporting the rewrite.

Some lawmakers are wondering how a Supreme Court ruling could affect Louisiana.

The courts ruled states can require sales taxes for online retailers, but the Department of Revenue warned lawmakers that it’s too early to count on any boost from that ruling.

Meanwhile, although nothing was passed from the house to the senate, the senate also proposed to suspend the expiration of the one percent sales tax until two months after the end of the 2019 regular session, to give the state even more time for a long term financial solution.

The deadlock was addressed by Speaker of the House Taylor Barras, who called lawmakers to move from their "two corners," with only six days to go until the session must end.

Governor Edwards was going to hold a news conference after the house adjourned Thursday night, but that was later canceled.