The special session is on the
verge of collapsing without a tax plan that addresses a looming one billion
dollar shortfall. The House has failed to get behind a proposal to raise
revenues to replace expiring sales taxes. Republican Barry Ivey of Baton Rouge
says GOP legislators are not willing to work with a Democratic governor.
“We don’t want a democrat
governor to get re-elected and we don’t want to give him a political win by
doing tax reform,” stated Ivey.
Chairman of the House
Republican Legislative Caucus, Lance Harris, blames the governor for poor
“The speaker kept visiting
with the governor to see what could be done. We go forth and all of a sudden… the rule got changed again. The goal post got moved. What happened?” said Harris.
A sales tax bill that would
have generated 300-million dollars annually was overwhelmingly defeated. After
the vote, the governor issued a statement that said he was in disbelief the
speaker abandoned the plan that he put on the table and ended the day in such a
chaotic fashion. Edwards says some lawmakers are unwilling to negotiate.
“You’ve got to work in good
faith and you’ve got to have some level of trust in people that they mean what
they say and they’re going to do what they say they will do, and you’ve got to
put your cards on the table, come up with a package and then, move forward,”
Tax negotiations continue
today. The special session must end Wednesday.