Capitol Views by Maginnis: Budget bill stuck in committee
For the first time in a long time, the budget bill failed to get out of the House Appropriations Committee on its first try, and it is unclear if it can come up again today. With a number of Republicans voting no, House Bill 1 failed, 8-10. GOP members complained that the committee should first take up the so-called funds-sweep bill to add revenue from dedicated funds. But after debating HB 822, it was not clear if the committee had the votes to pass it. The committee adjourned until after the day's floor session, in order to try to pass both bills today. But that would take a motion to reconsider from a member on the prevailing side. As the House convened, Appropriations members were huddling to discuss what happened in committee and the status of the bill. The funds-sweep bill moved $346 million from dedicated funds and other sources into the budget. About $230 million of it was to be used to match with $506 million in federal Medicaid funds to close most of the original $875 million shortfall. The added money is to go to closing part of the $304 million new shortfall recognized by the Revenue Estimating Conference last week. Fiscal conservatives objected, despite the fact that the amount of so-called one-time money and swept funds has decreased for the last three years. "I don't think we've gone far enough," said Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington.
(John Maginnis will publish a daily update throughout the legislative session on Daily Report PM. The report is also available to LaPolitics Weekly subscribers on the Subscribers Only page at LaPolitics.com. Registration is available on the homepage.)
Louisiana Public Broadcasting is providing a daily video update featuring highlights of the session, which you can see beginning at 6 p.m. here.
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