Budget bills to be addressed as the special session wraps up

June 01, 2018 - 3:07 pm

(WWL.com) - It’ll be a big day in the Senate Sunday as the upper chamber takes on tax and budget bills that could decide the fate of 648 million dollar fiscal cliff that threatens to wreck higher ed, TOPS, and healthcare. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the House won’t have much time to debate the budget and tax plans the Senate agrees too with a June 4th deadline quickly approaching.

“But at the same time, you’ve got to go back to the house, and almost at the very last minute. And will the house concur? That’s the big 64,000 dollar question.”

Cameron Henry’s House-backed budget, and a radically altered version of Lance Harris’s tax plan that renews a third of the expiring penny sales tax, but removes hundreds of millions in business tax exemptions to fill the full budget gap.

GOP House Chairman Lance Harris brought his original tax bill that raised about 330 million dollars in revenue, to a Senate committee, threatening that any changes would not fly when the legislation made it back to the House. Pinsonat says it’s most likely more complicated than that.

“I think when the Senate is working on this they are probably going to be talking to Lance Harris. The best chance for this to pass is if while they’re doing this they are also talking to the house in seeing what they will accept, what they can pass.”

If the two chambers cannot agree on a budget and tax plan by 12 PM Monday night, it’s highly likely that another special session will be called. Unlike this session, each day of the new session would cost the state tens of thousands of dollars, but Pinsonat says he’s optimistic a deal will be reached before the deadline.

“Walking away with nothing being accomplished again isn’t good for anyone including the governor and all the legislators. You know I think they’ll be on their best behavior trying to find solutions.”

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