State budget passes on final day of session

State budget passed on last day of regular session

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The last day of the regular legislative session came to an end Thursday at the Louisiana State Capitol. Among a series of last minute bill approvals, the house also passed a budget to fund state agencies.

Compared to other sessions, many are remarking how uneventful this Spring session went. Uneventful meaning passing several bills and eliminating the possibility of a special session.

Passing the budget did go up to the last minute as House representatives and senators went into committee to draft a series of committee reports including one on the budget.

That budget was adopted as there were just minutes to go in session, passing 102 to 0 in the House.

Both the House and Senate also passed a construction budget or capital outlay bill for projects across the state.

It seemed like most everyone in the Capitol Building were pleased at how efficiently they were able to pass the funding bills and close without a special session looming over head.

“The contentions, the pressure. We’d have budget issues for the last three and a half years fighting with all the multiple sessions we’ve had. This session we have budget stability right now,” says Representative Rodney Lyons, D-Harvey.

“For the first time in when I can remember there was not drama. There seemed to be not a lot of contentions issues. Teacher pay was taken care of and there was no contentious issues regarding the budget which was a nice thing and something we haven’t seen in a while,” Representative Kirk Talbot.

“The reason we were able to have a successful session is we solved the two billion dollar budget that we inherited in 2016. We ended last year with a $300 million surplus,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

This was also despite the fact that both the House and the Senate convened later than was scheduled Thursday because of weather delays.

Flooding and storm concerns around the Capitol meant legislators couldn’t safely arrive and pushed start times for both chambers about an hour later.

Not everything passed seamlessly though.

Among the last minute committee reports that was brought to house and Senate floors the issue of regulating fantasy sports betting across the state.

While the house passed the measure, Senator Danny Martiny Filibustered, therefore killing the bill this session.

Talbot says this means those voters on the parish level who voted to legalize fantasy sports betting will not be able to do so this fall.

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