Don’t expect much heavy lifting from Legislature this year

Louisiana residents hoping to see the governor and lawmakers tackle the state’s entrenched problems and enact sweeping change might need to lower their expectations.

This year probably won’t be the year for them, The News Star reports.

The two-month regular legislative session that starts in April comes after 10 mostly contentious legislative sessions—including seven special sessions to deal with state finances—were packed into three years. It also comes in an election year.

Many lawmakers are likely to be less ambitious after the exhausting budget and tax battles they’ve waged since 2016. Moreover, lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards likely will be less interested in irking voters in a year where they’re running to hold onto their current seats or to advance to new elected positions.

Election-year sessions often aren’t memorable, and they’re not typically known as reform years.

That’s not to say some people won’t try to be ambitious. A few lawmakers are talking about trying to rewrite Louisiana’s tax laws. Chatter continues about trying to raise the gas tax to address a multibillion-dollar backlog of road and bridge work. Others want to overhaul Louisiana’s method of collecting sales taxes. Some want to revisit additional hot-button topics of years past.

The question is whether any of those big-picture ideas can rally enough support among skittish politicians trying to preserve their chances on the ballot. Read the full story.

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