Legislators Disagree over Surplus Spending

There was more party politics at the Capitol on Monday, with name-calling, shouting, and even props. It was all in a fight over how much money the state should spend. WAFB's Capitol Correspondent Caroline Moses has more on the battle that's once again split down party lines.

At times, Republicans and Democrats are working together to find some middle ground. However, as budget talks about how to spend our state dollars get heated, Republicans and Democrats just cannot stop themselves from going at it. Representative Karen Carter (D-New Orleans) says, "Cancer research center up in Shreveport? Yes, you removed it? The LSU-Shreveport Cancer Center for 3.7 million." Representative Jim Tucker (R-Terrytown) responds, "You're the one who is always trying to have cancer research in one location in downtown New Orleans in your district. I'm surprised you would want it anywhere else."

Republicans are not happy with the proposed budget as it is now because they say it's full of wasteful spending. Representative Tucker (R-Terrytown) says, "I don't think it's good budgetary policy to spend every single dollar." So, they're holding on to a bill that would give out surplus money for projects throughout the state. Why? They say they're trying to gain bargaining power when it comes to changing how our state dollars get spent. Representative Tucker (R-Terrytown) says, "There's no better time to show some restraint in this area." Representative Charles Lancaster (R-Metairie) says, "We have to look at the bill and we can't do it to the people of Louisiana again."

On the other hand, Democrats say the budget is good the way it is, and Republicans need to stop playing party politics. Representative Charles Dewitt (D-Alexandria) says, "If you don't like it, take it out, but don't stop the state." Representative Cedric Richmond (D-Baton Rouge) says, "Both plans spend every penny."

Republicans and Democrats are both spending from the same pot, but how much and on what are the kernels caught in their teeth. Representative Troy Hebert (D-Jeanerette) says, "We finally got a bucket of corn, and few of us want little corn out of that bucket." In the end, there were 68 yays and 36 nays. With a punch on the voting board, these politicians continue to chew off the cob of spending your state dollars.