Work in the Louisiana House stalled Thursday amid bickering over how to balance the state budget.
The Jindal administration is pushing to use $269 million in one-time money to draft the $25 billion state spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1. A faction of Republicans wants to make deeper cuts.
The Republicans presented the Jindal administration with a list of possible reductions, including cuts to state agencies, the elimination of vacant jobs and reductions in travel and supplies. Their suggested reductions total roughly $108 million.
The House recessed while the two sides attempted to come to an agreement.
State Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans, said he and other Republicans are awaiting an answer from the Jindal administration on possible reductions.
The House is scheduled to reconvene at 5 p.m. Thursday.
The disagreements led to an unusual debate of House Bill 1, the state spending plan for next fiscal year.
A vote on using one-time money, or dollars that likely will only materialize once, failed in the morning, leading to a long lunch recess.
The House reconvened briefly only to recess again, this time for several hours.
With House Speaker Chuck Kleckley’s chief aide looking on, a group of Republicans opposed to the one-time money held a press conference on the State Capitol steps during one of the breaks.
“We believe it’s time to stop using one-time money and we’re going to take a strong stand,” said state Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles.