Wallis Watkins

Wallis Watkins is a Baton Rouge native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2013. Soon after, she joined WRKF as an intern and is now reporting on health and health policy for Louisiana's Prescription.

The Louisiana House worked behind the scenes Tuesday on tax negotiations. And key to those negotiations is the Legislative Black Caucus, led by Representative Joe Bouie (D-New Orleans).

"The strength of the Black Caucus regarding tax reform is the fact that you usually need 70 votes," he said.

Any momentum to reach a budget deal in the House was lost on Monday. The body was set to vote on key tax and budget measures that had finally made it out of committee. But Speaker of the House Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia) told members he didn’t think the bills could pass the full House. 

A deal is finally moving forward in the House to address the state’s looming billion-dollar budget shortfall. Key tax and budget measures were able to make it out of committee Sunday, but not without opposition. 

Budget negotiations have hit another wall in the special session. This time in the House Health and Welfare committee. Members took up several bills Thursday that would reform the state’s Medicaid program. It's one of the demands from leaders in the House who say the state must find ways to spend less money. 

Budget negotiations appear to have stalled following Wednesday’s meeting of House Ways and Means, when a republican-supported plan to raise revenue failed to make it out of committee. 

Members of the House Ways and Means committee got right to work on Tuesday, looking at possible ways to increase revenue, as the state faces a budget shortfall. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards took to the House floor Monday evening to address members of both chambers. The Legislature is officially in a special session and has until March 7 to try and solve Louisiana's budget crisis. 

The Senate Committee on Women and Children is taking a hard look at how the state handles sexual harassment. Sen. Regina Barrow says when it comes to training, there's no set standard.

Legislators will start grappling with a $1 billion budget shortfall next week.

Sen. Sharon Hewitt, a republican from Slidell, says budgeting becomes even harder when certain accounts automatically get money — they call these dedicated funds. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards has called legislators into a special session starting Monday to address the state's looming budget crisis. Come July 1, Louisiana is set to lose more than a billion dollars in revenue. 

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