The Latest: House leaders stall construction budget bill

Louisiana State Capitol

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The Latest on House and Senate action in the regular legislative session (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Louisiana House leaders have blocked a vote on a $4 billion bill to finance state construction projects, like roadwork and building repairs.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neil Abramson has refused to bring the measure, which he sponsored, up for a vote. House Speaker Taylor Barras supported the move Monday, saying Senate changes to the bill put it in such disarray that it can’t be cleaned up easily.

Barras asked lawmakers to wait until the special session that starts Monday night to draft a new construction budget bill.

In a snub to their leader, House lawmakers voted 52-49 to urge Barras and Abramson to let the bill come up for a vote. The men haven’t budged.

Senators disapprove of the delay, saying the House has refused to negotiate over the bill.


9:30 a.m.

Lawmakers are in the final hours of their regular legislative session, wrapping up a handful of outstanding disagreements over bills.

But they’ll get no reprieve when the session ends at 6 p.m. Monday.

Instead, they’ll get a half-hour break before they start another session, this one on taxes, called by Gov. John Bel Edwards in an effort to raise money to stave off budget cuts.

The House and Senate struck a compromise Sunday on the $26 billion operating budget for next year. But the document is sort of a rough draft. Lawmakers will fill in holes with any revenue they raise.

The three-month regular session began March 14. During the time, lawmakers enacted new abortion restrictions, but spurned Edwards’ push for a minimum wage increase and expanded equal pay law.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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