Louisiana House Takes First Steps To Shed Its Insanely High Incarceration Rate

Posted June 03, 2017

House leaders were talking confidently Friday about reaching a budget deal to keep Louisiana's lawmakers out of an immediate special session next week. The House will vote on the bills Wednesday morning.

House Republican leaders suggested those were scare tactics, but senators - both Republican and Democrat - said they anxious about the impact of the House proposal. The House leadership has blocked the task force's recommendations, blocked the governor's alternative plan, as well as plans from members of their own party.

The protected dollars, called "dedicated funds" at the Louisiana Capitol, are locked up by either the state constitution or state laws that dictate how certain dollars must be spent.

"The power in the House is Rep. Harris", according to the memo.

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The House agreed to re-enact the 15-year buffer last year, but that bill also failed in the Senate.

"They didn't have the votes, and struggled at whatever rate", Barras said, a reference to reductions in the bill aimed at attracting support. HB 2 is set to be discussed in in the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, and HB 3 has yet to leave the House.

Carter encouraged lawmakers to have an open mind about raising the gas tax in coming years.

House Democrats, who are a minority in the chamber, stalled the construction bill as leverage to try to get more spending in the operating budget, more projects in the construction budget and more seats on the committees that craft the two bills.

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Naquin said support topped out at 60 "yes" votes on Tuesday night, an unlikely alliance of Republicans from Baton Rouge and other congested areas, some members of the Legislative Black Caucus and a smattering of other Democrats.

"I understand the need to get them back on their feet, but we can not forget the victims", Republican House Speaker Sherman Mack said during debate on the House floor regarding reduction of restitution payments.

"That's what's hurting things now", he said. They said it reveals that lawmakers who have talked about how their hands are tied in budgeting also don't want to do anything to correct that.

"I think this is a very responsible approach", said Sen.

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Not all the legislation made it through the House voting, however.