State legislators enter special session

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) – Things got heated at the state capital Thursday night as Democrats and Republicans both blamed each other for the bodies not being able to reach an agreement on the state budget.

As the regular session clock expired, Governor John Bel Edwards had a few choice words for leaders of the House.

“We just witnessed an epic failure in leadership. TheHousee leadership clearly chose to put party politics ahead of the people’s business,” said Governor Edwards.

Unable to agree on the nearly 29 billion dollar budget, that fully funds TOPS, protects higher education, and creates no new taxes, District 96 Representative Terry Landry (D) says this is a disservice to the taxpayers.

“We have to come back in a special session to handle something that we should have and could have handled in the regular session.”

House Republican leaders want to spend less money; District 45 Representative Jean-Paul Coussan (R) explains.

“We’ve had 15 midyear cuts over the last nine years, which tells me that we are promising people money that doesn’t materialize. So we came up with the solution that we were going to set aside some money from the operating budget and essentially not appropriate 100% of a wrong number that was given to us by the revenue estimating conference.”

The 12-day special session now down to 11 as of Friday. Legislators hope to hit the ground running on Monday and finalize a budget before the clock runs out. 

The special session resumes Monday at 9 am.

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