Lawmakers quarrel over last minute budget changes

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The final minutes of the legislative session were filled with chaos and confusion as lawmakers voted on the state’s $45-billion budget. Among the points of contention was the failure to make teacher pay raises permanent and gutting $100 million from the Department of Health’s budget.

“Clay Schexnayder’s trying to run for Secretary of State. He’s a moron and should never ever have been elected Speaker of the House. What happened yesterday was a joke,” said Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh.

Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder defended his actions after the session saying the lawmakers had the ability to read over last-minute changes to the budget.

“Most of them that I would think told you that sit on the Appropriation Committee. So, if they didn’t know what was in those bills, shame on them for not being able to show up for committee and be able to look at those bills,” said Schexnayder.

When asked if LDH was notified of the sizable cut to the budget Schexnayder told reporters in House Appropriations LDH asked for one amount and in Senate Finance they asked for another amount.

“And we have to have to find that balance right in the middle, which you will see that they asked for a different amount in each one,” said Schexnayder.

Governor Edwards expressed his concerns about the sizable cut to LDH and explained that the $100 million cut could result in a $400 million dollar loss of matching federal funds and frustration that the teacher pay raises are not permanent.

 

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