The Latest: Edwards Talks Of 'Refocus' In Regular Session



Gov. John Bel Edwards

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana's legislative session (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

Louisiana's governor asked lawmakers to "refocus" on their work and move past the gridlock of the tax special session that failed to raise a single dollar to help close the budget gap.

Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke Monday to the House and Senate, as the Legislature opened its annual, months-long regular session.

The Democratic governor told lawmakers he was disappointed at how the special session ended last week. Partisan disagreements in the House stalled all tax measures to help close a shortfall estimated around $700 million.

But Edwards says he doesn't want that session's collapse to "hamper us from what's most important — making life better for the people of this great state."

Lawmakers can't consider taxes this session. They'll be charged with suggesting cuts to balance next year's budget.

___

12:20 p.m.

Louisiana lawmakers have opened their annual regular session, staring at another round of financial woes and struggle over how to balance the budget.

The House and Senate returned Monday. Frustrations are still simmering from the recent special session aimed at passing taxes to replace the expiring taxes that are causing the budget gap. That special session bogged down in House partisan gridlock. No revenue was raised.

In the regular session, lawmakers are charged with balancing next year's budget with an estimated $700 million less in state financing. Education programs and health services could be on the chopping block.

But finances won't be the only item on the agenda.

Lawmakers have pre-filed more than 1,100 bills on topics ranging from abortion and gun control to criminal sentencing laws, hazing and gambling.

___

11:40 a.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' special guests for his legislative session speech highlight two of his priorities: Louisiana's Medicaid expansion and adoption programs.

The Democratic governor is including in the audience Monday a mental health technician who gets health services through the Medicaid expansion, including treatment for an opioid addiction. Khadija Lamraoui has been sober for nearly a year with the treatment.

Edwards also invited Dawn and David Moss, who have three biological children and five adopted children. The Moss family is attending the speech with the Department of Children and Family Services employee who has handled their case, Judy Batiste.

Other guests of the governor include three people who helped run the Alexandria Mega Shelter last year, when it opened its doors to Houston-area resident fleeing Hurricane Harvey.

___

6 a.m.

Louisiana lawmakers begin their regular session at noon on Monday amid high tensions after a failed special session on finances.

The state's financial troubles remain in focus, with an estimated $700 million budget shortfall threatening TOPS college tuition awards, education programs and safety-net health services.

Lawmakers have pre-filed more than 1,100 bills on a wide list of topics. Proposals would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, end Louisiana's use of the death penalty, rewrite hazing laws and legalize sports betting.

Republicans and Democrats differ in their response to the recent Florida school shooting, with GOP lawmakers proposing to allow armed teachers at schools and Democrats seeking new gun restrictions. One lawmaker wants students to be able to wear bullet-proof backpacks.

 

 

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

  • FestiGals Women's Weekend Experience

    2018.06.21

    The 2018 FestiGals Weekend will bring women of all ages and backgrounds together for an enjoyable experience that will feature authentic New...

  • Deutsches Haus Social

    2018.06.29

    The Deutsches Haus Social on Friday, June 29, 2018 will present the New Orleans Symphony Chorus’ Beer Choir. This will be a sing-a-long with...

  • RedRover Responders Volunteer Training.

    2018.06.30

    RedRover Responders Volunteer Training: RedRover provides an emergency safety net for animals when and where they need it most. The RedRover...

  • Rock, Ride and Rescue

    2018.07.08

    Rock, Ride and Rescue is a fundraiser to support animals with special needs at the Louisiana SPCA! Join us at Rock N Bowl on July 8 from 6 - 9 p.m....

  • RUNNING OF THE BULLS KICK OFF DINNER

    2018.07.12

    Olé! Kick off Festival de San Fermin (Running of the Bulls) with this special Spanish-themed wine dinner. Enjoy a fabulous four-course dinner with...

  • Raising the Steaks

    2018.07.18

    Class up your Wednesday at the Foundation Room VIP Club at House of Blues New Orleans. The iconic venue is partnering with award-winning classical...

  • Hispanic Business Conference & Tradeshow

    2018.08.08

    The Hispanic Business Conference and Trade Show is the premiere venue for Hispanic Businesses to market their goods and services and it is the...

  • Hispanic Business Conference & Tradeshow

    2018.08.08

    The Hispanic Business Conference and Trade Show is the premiere venue for Hispanic Businesses to market their goods and services and it is the...

  • Hispanic Business Conference & Tradeshow

    2018.08.08

    The Hispanic Business Conference and Trade Show is the premiere venue for Hispanic Businesses to market their goods and services and it is the...


Show More...