BATON ROUGE -- State lawmakers could not resolve a stalemate on the state's must-pass budget bills before time ran out in the Legislative session at 6 p.m. Thursday, forcing them into a special session to try to strike a compromise.
In the final hours Thursday of the regular session, House and Senate leaders couldn't settle disagreements over a more than $28 billion spending plan to finance state agencies, public services and colleges in the financial year beginning July 1.
Both sides pointed fingers at each other.
House Republican leaders want to spend less than the full state income forecast, as a cushion to avoid midyear cuts in case the predictions were wrong. The Senate, backed by Gov. John Bel Edwards and House Democrats, want to spend all available dollars, saying otherwise they'd have to make unnecessary, harmful cuts.
“That’s more of a shell game,” state Rep. Cameron Henry (R-Metairie) told Eyewitness News. “I’m actually here to do real business, real work with real numbers. The idea of appropriating 100 percent then telling somebody they can’t spend it in a resolution, that’s a waste of everyone’s time and an insult to taxpayers.”
Edwards has called a press for 6:45 p.m. to go over the session.
We’ll carry that press conference live on WWLTV.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.