It is no secret that the House Fiscal Hawks don’t have 53 votes to pass or kill legislation in the House of Representatives. Thus, like all underdogs they must make up for their lack of numbers by skill and cunning.The Hawks have a solid 36 votes in the House. That is enough to stop any legislation that requires a 2/3’s vote.
Today, the Hawks skillfully attack another larger prey – the State’s Capital Outlay Budget.
House Bill 2 is the State Capital Outlay Bill. It only required a majority vote to pass the House. Lacking numbers to attack that “elephant” (billions of dollars) the Hawks held back and waited their chance.
House Bill 3 is the funding mechanism for 90% of the Capital Outlay Budget. HB 3 authorizes the issuance of state bonds to fund the “bond portion” of the Capital Outlay Budget. A very small portion of the budget is funded with cash.
Issuing state debt (bonds) requires a 2/3’s vote of both houses of the lege. That is mandated by the state constitution. Without HB 3 passing, only the cash portion of HB 2 will be funded.
In order to release HB 3, the Hawks want concessions from the Senate. They want the Capital Outlay Budget stripped of all non-state projects. It’s just common sense; STATE fund should only be used for STATE projects.
Among those non-state projects is the renovation of the Junior League of New Orleans’ headquarters. There are hundreds of similar, non-state, non-governmental projects in HB 2, but the Junior League’s project is so outrageous that it deserves special recognition.
The Fiscal Hawks are skilled hunters. They cannot slay the “elephant,” but they have removed the food and water from it. Without sustenance, the “elephant” dies.
Well-done, Hawks! Keep circling!