LaPolitics: Will anything change during another special session?

The year’s second special session is expected to convene sometime after May 18, give or take a few days. Essentially the same body of elected officials will gather in the exact same building to presumably debate the same issues that have already been endorsed, rejected or ignored over the past 28 months. So has anything changed since the year’s first special session, when lawmakers went in search of revenue solutions and found political gridlock instead?

An examination of that session’s most important choke points by LaPolitics don’t show much movement. The so-called “linchpin to agreement” for 2018’s first special session, at one point, was HB 8 by Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger, D-New Orleans. It fell three votes short of passage on March 2 when four Democrats—Reps. Gary Carter of New Orleans, Cedric Glover of Shreveport, Jimmy Harris of New Orleans and Denise Marcelle of Baton Rouge—voted in opposition.

The four lawmakers backed away from the bill that was favored by many other Democrats because they had concerns about its passage being tied to other instruments, including legislation from Rep. Tony Bacala, R-Gonzales, critics contend restricts access to Medicaid in the name of fraud prevention. Negotiations also got tough when Capitol players realized the Legislative Black Caucus wasn’t just being cute about its own concerns regarding the renewal of the thought-to-be temporary portion of the state sales tax structure. Influencers also overlooked the importance of income tax changes to caucus members, which was otherwise clearly communicated in at least one letter penned by Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans…


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