House rejects budget bill; Budget compromise players chosen

Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- State Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, left, Sam Jones, D-Franklin, center, and Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, on the Louisiana House floor prior to sending the state budget to a conference committee to work out differences with the state Senate. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- State Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, left, Sam Jones, D-Franklin, center, and Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, on the Louisiana House floor prior to sending the state budget to a conference committee to work out differences with the state Senate.

In a break with tradition, six Louisiana House members — instead of the usual — three would work with the state Senate to hammer out a compromise on the state budget.

State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, made the motion shortly after the House got underway Tuesday, signaling possible movement toward a resolution on the $25 billion state spending plan.

If the House and the Senate cannot reach an agreement by 6 p.m. Thursday, when the session ends, legislators would have to return to the State Capitol for a special session.

“We just think it’s a pretty obvious representation of the body,” said Robideaux, R-Lafayette.

From the House side, the conference committee would consist of House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, state Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, state Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, state Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, and state Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans.

The House and the Senate are at odds on one-time money, public school funding and other issues in House Bill 1, the state operating budget for the fiscal year that starts in July.