Washington-style gridlock envelopes Louisiana House as special session collapses

When the regular legislative session ended last year, lawmakers adjourned without mustering the political will to pass a budget, the one task they had to complete. Gov. John Bel Edwards had to call a special session so they could pass the budget eight days later.

The governor called lawmakers into a special session once again two weeks ago, this time, he said, to pass enough revenue to stave off deep budget cuts later in the year to programs that provide TOPS scholarships to students, fund local jails run by sheriffs, provide home health care for severely disabled children and finance hospitals that serve the poor. The amount of new revenue was later estimated to be nearly $700 million.

The special session collapsed Monday, with lawmakers in the House no closer to solving the problem, having shot down each revenue-raising bill, for different political and philosophical reasons. Democrats and Republicans each were left blaming the other, with each side demonstrating a distinct lack of trust in the other…


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