Legislature Takes Its Medicine
“We stand here and declare the 2015 regular session adjourned sine die.”
With that, the 2015 legislative session came to a close. The uncertainty and drama continued right up to the 6 p.m. deadline, but the legislature did pass a budget supported by tax increases. They also passed the SAVE plan offset, after all.
Earlier in the day, it appeared dead.
“This is one of the two bills that we did get the SAVE language stripped off of it, and I appreciate your favorable vote,” House Ways and Means chairman Joel Robideaux announced before lunchtime.
The House and Senate both concurred with those changes. Behind the scenes, however, the pressure to pass the SAVE plan continued. At mid-afternoon, Governor Jindal even paid an unusual visit to the House floor to apply some personal pressure.
Not long after, Hammond Rep. Chris Broadwater stepped to the podium.
“Members, can I have your attention? The language from Senator Donahue’s SB 284, which is referred to as the SAVE plan, is in this conference report,” Broadwater announced>
“I will not try to candy coat this. I will not try to tell you something about this measure that I believe is untrue. So I’m going to tell you exactly what I believe it is. Is this an instrument that I believe is good policy? The answer is no,” Broadwater stated bluntly.
“I intend to vote for this bill. I beg you to vote for this bill. I will swallow my pride, knowing that at the end of the day, I stood and I fought to the very end for higher education.”
With that, Broadwater and 58 other House members held their noses and took their medicine, passing the SAVE plan.
In the end, Governor Jindal got what he wanted: revenue neutrality.
“I said it in my speech at the first day of session, and I’m pleased on the last day of session we were able to hit those priorities,” the Governor said, during a press conference shortly after the session’s close.
Copyright 2015 WRKF