House Overwhelmingly Backs State Budget Compromise
With a 95-3 vote, a nearly $25 billion budget is heading to the Senate for approval after days of negotiations. But it’s not the plan Gov. Bobby Jindal wanted.
Lawmakers have taken out roughly $500 million in financing from property sales, legal settlements, and other sources that were not guaranteed. Instead, the House plan includes reduced vendor compensation for sales tax processing, and revenue from cutting tax exemptions.
The plan also counts on a tax amnesty program generating $200 million. Naysayers have questioned whether the compromise is therefore swapping out one set of contingencies for another. Rep. Roy Burrell, a Democrat, and Fiscal Hawk Rep. John Schroder countered that criticism with this rhetorical exchange on the floor:
It's against House rules to pass a budget with uncertain 'one-time' funds in it.
The budget compromise advanced Friday is a rare showing of bipartisan agreement and independence by the House members who have often gone along with the governor’s agenda.