Capitol Access

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Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

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The United States Supreme Court handed down a ruling Thursday that threw a curveball into tax negotiations inside the Louisiana Capitol. 

Lawmakers continue to debate how many tenths of a penny should remain as part of the state's sales-tax rate. On Wednesday, a House committee advanced three options. 

The House Appropriations committee spent the second day of a 10-day special session rehashing old budget debates. 

Lawmakers filed back into the Capitol Monday for a third special session. They’ll spend the next 10 days focusing on the same problem they've failed to address twice already this year. In less than two weeks, the state will lose over $1 billion in revenue. 

The House and Senate gavel back into session today to restart the lingering tax debate.

Probation services for youth in Louisiana’s Juvenile Justice system are on the chopping block. If hit with an $11 million cut outlined in the current budget, Deputy Secretary James Bueche says his department would be forced to layoff more than 100 employees who work with kids on probation. 

If a budget cut to the Louisiana Department of Corrections isn’t resolved by June 30, thousands of state offenders would be released from prison.

There wasn’t enough agreement in the second special session for lawmakers to renew a sales tax increase in Louisiana, but the Legislature did manage to pass a tax break for low-income families.

Legislators are gearing up for a third special session that will start June 18. They’ll have 10 days to reach an agreement on the budget and taxes.

If lawmakers can’t reach a tax compromise by June 30, many state agencies would face steep budget cuts.

Marketa Walters is the Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services. In the event the Legislature fails to replace expiring revenue in a third special session, her department would be cut more than 20 percent.

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