Senate finance committee alters proposed state budget

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The movement on the proposed state budget continued Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs as members heard a number of house bills designed to fund large portions of the plan.

"I think we're getting close and we are all working hard to get it resolved," said Representative Joel Robideaux of Lafayette.

Robideaux introduced three bills to the committee, the biggest would generate an estimated $200 million for the state by using the tax amnesty clause, encouraging those who owe taxes to pay up. However another bill that would generate $17 million from changes in how the state collects taxes from retailers was shot down.

"Louisiana is fortunate in that we have a balanced budget requirement and so if they pull 17 million out its going to come back for 17 million from some other source so we'll just wait and see what they decide," added Robideaux.

The Senate Finance Committee decided to attach a large number of amendments to House Bill One.

The most notable change would be adding just over $180 million in one-time money or non-recurring funds the House had stripped in its plan. The amount remains under the figure that would require a two thirds majority to approve.

"The process is the process and so until we see what their version is it's really hard to tell but if we've got to come back we've got to come back," said Robideaux.

House Bill One and its 43 pages of amendments plus the other budget bills, will now head to the Senate floor for debate.