Louisiana Legislature enters six-week homestretch of 2012 session

04 21, 2012 by The Times-Picayune

Louisiana lawmakers enter final six weeks of the session with work to do House Speaker Chuck Kleckley said that a lot of the heavy lifting remains as the legislative session enters the six-week homestretch, such as passage of major pension overhaul bills and the annual state budget, which are interwoven.

He said that the House's major retirement bills will be debated on the House floor April 30, and a key landowner vs. oil company bill by Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, will be debated Wednesday.

He said the plan to get the budget out of the House Appropriations Committee is a little fuzzier because lawmakers are waiting on the latest tax receipts data, which will be presented to revenue estimators in early May.

The meeting will not be called, Kleckley said, until a bill by Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, is passed that would allow Louisiana State University economist Jim Richardson, who is chairman of the estimating panel and is recovering from heart surgery, to be able to attend or name a stand-in for the meeting. If he cannot, the chancellor of LSU would name a temporary replacement. Alario's bill is expected to be debated this week.