BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Lawmakers won't be returning to Baton Rouge to reconsider Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget cuts and bill rejections.
Twenty-six of 39 senators voted to cancel the veto override session that had been scheduled to begin next week, according to a vote tally released Friday by the Senate. All that was needed to kill the session was a majority vote of one legislative chamber.
"Twenty-six and thirteen. Next week isn't going to be so busy after all," Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, who supported the veto session, said on Twitter.
The scrapping of the session came despite a push from advocates for the disabled who wanted lawmakers to revisit Jindal's line-item budget vetoes of $6 million lawmakers had planned for disabled services in the fiscal year that began July 1.
But the outcome of the vote wasn't surprising.
Lawmakers have never held a veto session since the current state constitution was enacted four decades ago.
The veto session was automatically set to begin next week when Jindal rejected seven bills and removed 31 items from this year's $25.4 billion budget.
As happened last year, the Senate was the chamber that made sure the session wasn't held. A bipartisan mix of senators decided to jettison the session, including the chairmen of the Senate budget and health care committees.
Only 38 of 105 House members voted to cancel the session, all but four of them Republicans, 15 votes short of what was needed for the House to cause the shelving of the session.
The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Jim Fannin, turned in his ballot to block the session, even though he inserted some of the disabled funding into the budget that Jindal vetoed.
"If you're anti-governor, then I understand why you want to go back because it's all political," said Fannin, R-Jonesboro. "I couldn't say that I want a special session when I know it's going to cost the taxpayers and when I know we may not have the dollars to fund what we already have in the budget this year. That didn't make sense to me."
Senate President John Alario and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, both Jindal allies, opposed the veto session, citing the price tag and other uncertainties.
"I am of the belief that not holding a veto session is in our state's best interest, considering the costs involved and the uncertainly of garnering the necessary two-thirds vote to override any veto," Alario, R-Westwego, said in a statement.
Alario said senators will continue to work on ways to increase disabled services.
Jindal said the state couldn't afford new spending on the add-ons for disabled programs in the Department of Health and Hospitals because lawmakers hadn't included enough money to continue the existing services in the Medicaid program and cover projected increases.
Rep. John Bel Edwards, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, wanted lawmakers to reconsider the governor's rejection of the disabled services funding. He said Friday that he wasn't shocked the Senate canceled the session, but was disappointed.
"I guess I'm left to just hoping that Sen. Alario has worked out something with the administration that will prove to be at least somewhat helpful to the disabled community," he said.