State lawmakers prepare for special session

Coronavirus

BATON ROUGE – After the coronavirus shut down the capitol for six weeks, lawmakers in the House have approved a budget bill. 

But with less than a week remaining in the regular legislative session, the Senate will need more time to comb through the spending plan.

Lawmakers decided in a near unanimous vote to enter a special session starting June 1.

Republicans in the legislature say they need more time, not only to pass a budget but also to work on legislation they think can help the state recover from COVID-19.

“It’s not just about the budget itself,” Rep. Jerome Zeringue said. “It’s also about getting the economy back going again, ensuring we can get people back to work, helping the businesses and getting people to where at least we can get the economy back on solid footing again.”

The state budget has the hardest deadline. Lawmakers have until midnight on June 30 to pass it, in a session likely to cost $50,000 to $60,000 a day.

That may not be all either. Talk is already beginning about a second special session this fall, to play catchup on state affairs. 

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