Stalemate over Louisiana income forecast reaches third month
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - For three consecutive months, Louisiana's forecasting panel has debated economists' suggestions to boost income estimates, making millions more available for spending.
Each time, the meeting ends in a stalemate, with no changes made. The scene replayed Thursday at the Louisiana Capitol, continuing the latest clash between Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration and House Republican leaders. Administration efforts to pressure House Speaker Taylor Barras to raise the forecast ended in another failed vote.
Barras blocked the changes, saying too much economic uncertainty exists in Louisiana. The Edwards administration and Republican Senate President John Alario say economists have made a reasonable case for rewriting the numbers. The stalemate has political implications this election year, threatening Edwards' plans to include a teacher pay raise in his budget proposal to be released next month.