We were supposed to get to know the House and Senate as almost entirely new bodies during the regular session, but the learning curve was lengthened by COVID-19 as lawmakers hunkered down in their districts and quietly plotted or opposed the special session that was scheduled to adjourn today, writes Jeremy Alford in his new column.
While we might have a clearer picture of what the rest of this legislative term will look like, it’s still incomplete. Legislators were supposed to work for three consecutive months during the regular session, from March 9 to June 1, but only managed a month of action due to the stay-at-home order. Mix in the past month of policymaking during the special session, and our annual legislative dose is shy by roughly 30 days.
Of course, that difference could be rectified by a fall special session, which many are still expecting around October. Another 30 days in Baton Rouge later this year would be necessitated by any budget changes due the economy or additional aid from the federal government.
For now, we have only the takeaways gleaned from the abbreviated regular session and the special session now facing down sine die—and there have been a few important ones.