PLACE YOUR BETS! Handicapping HB 1 & Adjournment

Running The Numbers

Since this regular session feels like a gamble anyway, and since there has been an avalanche of gaming bills introduced, we decided to calculate the odds — Vegas-style — on the budget making it out of the House and on the year’s final legislative adjournment falling exactly on June 4, 2018.

Here are LaPolitics’ findings, which are more commonly referred to as the Capitol’s best odds:

— The House’s odds for passing a budget to the Senate prior to the start of any special session are 4:5, with the probability of such passage clocking in at 44 percent.

— The Legislature’s odds for ending its policy year on June 4, as originally planned, are 5:4, with the probability of adjournment on that date being 55 percent.

A noticeable trend across both questions is the relatively even divide between optimists and pessimists. It’s not an altogether promising signal.

Just think about it. Our sampling of Capitol players, meaning those who participated in the informal LaPolitics survey, couldn’t even agree on something as trivial as political odds-making.

Methodology & Script

To achieve this unofficial and unscientific forecast, we conducted a completely (mostly, maybe) random sample of nine known politicos. For starters, participants were required to have a strong connection to the legislative process and a willingness to go on the record.

As it so happened, they also needed to be standing — at around noon or so — in the House plaza, where the LSU luncheon was held today. Or in the hallway outside the committee rooms in the lower chamber’s basement. Two additional samples were collected during the 3 p.m. hour at the rear of the House chamber alongside its velvet-like rope barriers.

Here is the script for the two questions each participant was posed, as delivered and recorded by LaPolitics’ Sarah Gamard:

1.) Do you think the House will pass a budget prior to the start of the next special session?

2.) Do you think the Legislature will adjourn for the final time this calendar year on June 4?

In terms of scoring and methodology, any answer that seemed vague or uncertain was recorded as a negative response. The participant’s past political leanings, body langue, recent votes and general attitude were weighted as part of this determination process.

The 9 Participants & Their Responses

Rep. Dodie Horton (R)

— Budget Passage?: She said she’s confident that the House will pass a budget this session.

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: “It’s a possibility… I see it happening.”

Rep. Pat Smith (D)

— Budget Passage?: “I don’t think we’re going to vote for it.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: If a cut-heavy budget does somehow pass the Senate during this regular session, Smith said she believes there won’t be a second special session immediately called for 2018.

Sen. Troy Carter (D)

— Budget Passage?: “Nobody in their right mind can like that bill. If they have 53 votes without Democrats and African-Americans, knock yourself out. I don’t think they do.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: Carter said a special session is inevitable, but added the Legislature should be finished by June 4.

Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger (D)

— Budget Passage?: “The votes that I’m counting, they don’t have enough.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: “We can pass the budget in a special session. We ought to just stop now and go into a special session and fix it.”

Rep. Blake Miguez (R)

— Budget Passage?: “If I had an eight ball, this thing is going to the Senate.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: “If people agreed, we’d be able to go into a special session. Can we do that in time for June 4? I don’t know.”

Rep. Robert Billiot (D)

— Budget Passage?: “It’s going to be a very, very close vote. It’s got a hard time to make it up that hill.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: “Yeah.”

Richard Carbo, the governor’s deputy chief of staff (D)

— Budget Passage?: “They could. But there’s a lot of members that would have a problem voting for it in their areas.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: “The governor and the speaker and the Senate all agreed to meet early, so it’s all going to depend on how much everyone sticks on that timeline.”

Rep. James Armes (D)

— Budget Passage?: “Oh yeah… They’re gonna amend it.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: “I think so. I don’t think there’ll be any problem with that.”

Rep. Jerome Zeringue (R)

— Budget Passage?: “There’s a very good possibility.”

— 06/04 Final Adjournment?: “The likelihood is there’s going to be an extended session into June, past the 4th, whether we have a compressed session or not.”

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