Disagreement over the use of one-time money halted debate in the Louisiana House Thursday on the $25 billion proposed state operating budget.
Legislators discussed House Bill 1, the spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, for more than two hours before voting on whether to use nonrecurring dollars to balance the budget.
The plan currently hinges on using $269 million in dollars that cannot be relied upon to materialize more than once.
The House voted 51-50 in favor of using the money, falling 16 votes short of the two-thirds approval needed.
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jim Fannin, and suspended debate on the bill.
Fannin, D-Jonesboro, said afterward that he had no choice since there are no amendments to purge the one-time money from the spending plan.
House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, said the bill likely will be brought up for debate again later in the day.
“We have options,” Kleckley said. “We’re just trying to figure out what those options are.”
State Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, said he is not in favor of all of the one-time money in the budget.
Jones voted in favor of using one-time money in the budget to advance debate on HB1.
“It’s kind of silly to think we’re going to leave here without a balanced budget,” he said.