Special session does nothing to help Louisiana’s fiscal cliff


Louisiana legislators ended their special session two days early on Monday, claiming partisan stalemates remain too wide to bridge a looming billion-dollar budget gap.

The House failed to pass any revenue-raising measures after 15 days of discord. Democratic members favored a bill to cut tax breaks for those who itemize their income tax deductions, while some Republicans supported extending a quarter of the revenue expiring July 1. Neither proposal survived, as lawmakers accused one another of backing away from compromises.

Louisianians won’t know for months whether certain public safety, healthcare and higher education services — namely the TOPS tuition program — will meet drastic cuts come summer.

Governor John Bel Edwards blamed the deadlock on House Speaker Taylor Barras, saying the New Iberia Republican failed to deliver the Republican votes needed to pass critical tax proposals.

Barras and ranking House Republicans claimed Edwards was the one who didn’t rally enough Democrats behind the revenue bills considered.

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