Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards today served legal notice he intends to call a special session of the 2017 Legislature 30 minutes after the regular session finally adjourns at its official deadline, 6 p.m. on June 8 - if the lawmakers have not completed their work on three funding instruments. It needed 70 votes to pass.
And the Democrats' leader in the House, Rep. Gene Reynolds, says he thinks lawmakers are making progress in negotiations over a stalled construction financing bill. The House leadership has blocked the task force's recommendations, blocked the governor's alternative plan, as well as plans from members of their own party.
A Republican lawmaker who sought to overhaul Louisiana's tax laws appears to have given up in disgust. Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton) and carried on the House floor by Rep.
After not getting enough votes, the bill failed before debate.
Following Tuesday's voting, the five bills not sent to the Senate are still alive and have time to be passed by both chambers before the end of session in two weeks.
"It's shame that we're controlled by people that live outside our state, that have probably never traveled our roads to experience our problems", said Carter.
The GOP-controlled House was always considered the crucial test in the push for a gas tax increase, which would have been the first in 28 years.
Naquin said support topped out at 60 "yes" votes on Tuesday night, an unlikely alliance of Republicans from Baton Rouge and other congested areas, some members of the Legislative Black Caucus and a smattering of other Democrats. House Bill 3, now being held captive by House Democrats, is the instrument by which local construction projects are funding through bonds. Added to that, Wilson says the state needs $15 billion to build some mega projects across the state, including a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge.
They're recommending, in a separate bill, to use $80 million of the unspent cash to fill gaps in this year's budget that the House didn't address - such as shortfalls in payments to sheriffs for housing state inmates in their local jails and to K-12 public school districts.
"That's what's hurting things now", he said.
Not all the legislation made it through the House voting, however.