The Louisiana House is going Friday night state agency by state agency through the $25 billion proposed state spending plan.
Movement began on House Bill 1, the state operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, after Republicans successfully amended the legislation Friday to purge one-time money from the proposal.
One-time money is funding that likely only will materialize once.
After the amendment pushed by Republicans passed, the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jim Fannin, said he was at a loss to explain the legislation.
“I can’t do my job. I don’t have any direction to give you … I can’t help you,” said Fannin, D-Jonesboro.
As it stands now, the budget would direct the Jindal administration to choose from a slate of options for cutting $268 million in one-time money from next year’s spending plan. The options included sending state employees home without pay for two days, reducing overtime and cutting vacant positions along with other reductions across state government.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief budget aide, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, was absent from the House chamber during debate on the key amendment.
Asked later in the day about the direction the budget is taking, Rainwater declined comment.
“We’ll be issuing a statement later,” he said.
Meanwhile, the governor flew to Oklahoma to raise money for that state’s Republican Party.