Lawmakers gearing up for legislative session
BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers are getting ready as legislative session is set to begin Monday at noon.
With more than 1,500 bills one the table, legislators expect a busy session this year. A little more than 1,000 of the bills come from the house this year with an additional 554 on the senate side of the capitol.
"They run the gamut from education, finance, firearms, the whole deal there. But what I expect most of the concentration is going to be on the budget, properly funding higher-ed, LSU and the rest of higher-ed," said Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge.
Legislators we spoke with today say they could butt heads when it comes to education. Education should become the top focus this session.
"I think every committee is going to be looking at some high-profile bill of sorts to be able to determine how we change the fabric of the state," said Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge.
Bills can practically cover anything except taxes this session. Bills regarding taxes can only be introduced in years ending in odd numbers. Claitor says it will be an exciting session for education. Along with higher education and TOPS talk, the common core debate will take center stage.
"Folks are going to be looking at how we either do away with it, how do we change it, those kind of things and how do we move forward if we're going to actually keep the common core standards," said Smith.
Lawmakers will also tackle bills aimed at firearms, minimum wage increases, sodomy laws and stricter penalties for drug offenses.