It was a wild night in the legislature as lawmakers debated a budget bill all the way up to the midnight deadline. A budget passed, but there was no revenue measure and Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport) is being blamed by many. He asked a question at the last minute and time ran out. The full exchange is shown in the video below.

The issue at hand is the expiring sales tax that lawmakers want to renew to fill a budget gap in the state budget gap. Estimates of that have ranged from $2 billion dollars to $648 million dollars. The meltdown happened as lawmakers scrambled to pass the bill that was ultimately opposed by House GOP leaders.

House Democrats responded to the breakdown shortly after midnight.

Today our Republican colleagues abandoned the people of Louisiana, and chose to shut down state government. Without a solution before June 30, their irresponsibility will take state police off our roads, release thousands of violent criminals without regard for public safety, prohibit LDH from inspecting abortion clinics and shutter the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security just as hurricanes season begins.

 

They could have chosen a moral budget plan that provided $500 million in tax cuts to working families, cut government spending by $200 million while fully funding our priorities like TOPS, hospitals, and care for seniors and our most vulnerable. Sadly, they refused to prioritize our people.