John Alario

Special Session: #EpicFail

Mar 11, 2016
Sue Lincoln

There were sighs of relief as the special session ended promptly at 6:00 Wednesday night.

“We leave here tonight being able to defend what we’ve done, and being able to explain to the people of Louisiana that we did what we were asked here to do,” House Speaker Taylor Barras told the lower chamber.

Senate President John Alario, though, sighed with frustration at the end.

“I want to apologize to you for what happened here tonight,” a tearful Alario told the upper chamber. “That’s not the way to conduct the people’s business.”

S. Lincoln

After the Senate Finance Committee advanced HB 122 Thursday -- with less draconian cuts than its author Cameron Henry wanted -- the full House did pass the cigarette tax hike.

“It would bring in an additional 16 million in fiscal year ‘16; $47-million in fiscal year ’17,” its author, Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger explained.

But the House did little else to advance bills for alleviating the state budget shortfalls.

Over on the Senate floor, though, the stress of that little progress was showing as senators worked through the limited options passed on by the House.

Henry Gives Alario Indigestion

Mar 1, 2016
Mark Carroll

Cameron Henry brought his budget cutting bill before the Senate Finance Committee yesterday, and Senate President John Alario cross-examined the Appropriations Committee chairman about the mood of the House.

“You see any more appetite in the House for making much more cuts at this point?” Alario asked during the hearing on HB 122.

“I think members are going to continue to work through that process because we need to,” Henry responded, “Assuming that you-all don’t send us an absolutely perfect bill.”

Inauguration 2016

Jan 12, 2016
LPB Broadcast

The Inaugural ceremony for Governor John 'Bel' Edwards went smoothly on Monday, with Edwards and his wife, Donna, descending the Capitol steps to “Fanfare for the Common Man.”  

Gazing into the Budget Crystal Ball

May 18, 2015
Sue Lincoln

When the Revenue Estimating Conference met last Thursday, they only found an additional $79-million to help with the FY 2016 budget shortfall.

“We still have a long way to go,” House Speaker Chuck Kleckley declared.

Senate President John Alario was marginally more optimistic.

“We’re getting closer, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” was Alario’s pronouncement.

With 24 days left in the session, I asked Kleckley and Alario to gaze into the crystal ball and make a few predictions about the budget.

“I think we can probably answer that better after we get it off the House floor,” Kleckley said, referring to the budget bill — HB 1, which will be debated by the full House on Thursday.

Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff

Feb 2, 2015


“We need to appreciate what we’re saying when we say those words,” LSU economist Jim Richardson admonishes, as Louisiana is standing on the edge of a fiscal cliff.

“We simply do not have enough,” Richardson states.