Is It Dead or Alive?

— The special session has come down to a matter of degrees. We already know relationships and negotiations are bad at the Capitol. But exactly how bad are they right now?

— Lawmakers are at least still talking. A meeting, among others, was held this morning by a handful of GOP lawmakers and a few members of the Black Caucus. Gov. John Bel Edwards likewise met with the legislative leadership this afternoon.

— Unless JBE comes around to the caucus’ way of thinking, which sounds possible, white Democrats could be pitted between siding with their party counterparts or standing with the administration to advance the governor’s agenda. "I think the answer is yes," the governor told reporters yesterday afternoon when asked if he was on the same page as members of the Black Caucus. "There is a process we have to go through and we are going through that right now."

— The political landscape at the Capitol is shaky at best. Black Caucus members insist they will not vote in favor of a sales tax increase above four pennies and Republicans contend they’ll never back a proposed income tax alteration. All the while a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall looms, and the special session must conclude one week from tomorrow.

— It’s a full court press upstairs… Team JBE targeting GOP lawmakers… The Governor's Office on Women's Policy dispatched a Constant Contact email to its list this morning asking for “help to ensure that the House takes action on several revenue measures pending on the House Floor.” In particular, the email contained this line: “Our Republican friends need the most attention. Phone calls, emails, personal outreach, action on social media are all important at this point.”

— Also from the email: “If you learn any information please let us know.” (That goes double for us. Send your scoop to

— Even if the House coalesces around a package, the real battle may still be looming, which is the one between the hawks of the House and the lions of the Senate. Many senators don’t want a temporary sales tax, which is where the House left their negotiations, and the upper chamber is also looking for a package of bills that will fill the entire shortfall.

— The Times-Pic (Editorial): “Temporary budget fixes are legislative malpractice…”

— The Houma Courier (Editorial): “It is beginning to look like yet another temporary fix is the best Louisiana residents and businesses can hope to see in the coming weeks.”

— Via The Advocate’s Elizabeth Crisp: “‘I’m just asking that there be a little clearer direction from the governor,’ (Speaker Taylor) Barras said.”

— Via The T-P’s By Julia O'Donoghue: “‘With this body, we have a leadership issue. Until we address that, we'll continue to have problems,’ said Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge.”

— Via @WillSentell: “Rep. Kenny Havard on special session: ‘We have a big problem. We don't have enough guts to cut. And we don't have enough guts to raise taxes.’”

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