Weekend showdown over budget ahead for lawmakers
BATON ROUGE - A weekend conference committee may be needed to help settle a dispute between the state House and Senate over the use of one-time money in the state budget.
Today at the Capitol, no one expected the issue would be settled quickly.
"I expect us to be here around the clock until Monday at 6," said Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge. "We have a lot of tough issues still on the table right now."
"I do expect to be here throughout the weekend," agreed Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Erath.
The House refused to use hundreds of millions of dollars of one-time funds to plug holes in the budget, relying on more cuts instead. The Senate replaced those one-time dollars in their version of the budget bill.
"The Senate sort of acts like they know better than we do. That's okay. That's sort of how it goes around here," said Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington. "Clearly, the House has more conservatives with a lot of business background. You can't spend money you don't have. We continue to do that."
"At the end of the day, what's the use in having one time money or a rainy day fund if the state is not doing well?" said Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia. "I can't tell you how it's going to turn out because I don't know who is going to get bought off or disciplined next...or threatened. I shouldn't say disciplined, threatened."
The session is required to end at 6 p.m. Monday.