On Thursday, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved the capital outlay bill-- the list of state construction projects to be funded in the coming year-- then minutes later voted down the bill that would pay for it.
It required a two-thirds vote-- 70 yeas. It got 65.
The failure gives outnumbered Democratic lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards a little bit more leverage as the two parties fight over how to spend $347 million surplus dollars from the 2019 fiscal year. Edwards wants to spend all of it right away to stimulate the swooning economy. If Republicans get their way only $200 million would go to those projects and $90 million would be used to replenish the state's rainy day fund. The remainder would be set aside and could be spent on capital outlay or the rainy day fund at a later date. Republican legislative leaders say with some lean years on the horizon, and a low rainy day fund, it would be unwise to spend it all.