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Budget maneuvering continues in House

Last Modified: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:05 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

BATON ROUGE — House lawmakers on Tuesday restored $490 million in one-time money to the budget bill, requiring a two-thirds majority for full House approval.

The House rejected four amendments to House Bill 1, also known as the appropriations bill. Those amendments rejected the use of one-time money. The House voted 73-21, rejecting three amendments and 72-22, rejecting one amendment. The "no" votes were spread out between Republicans and Democrats.

Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Moss Bluff, said restoring the one-time money will force lawmakers to work together and approve a workable budget. Geymann is a leader of the "Fiscal Hawks," a group of lawmakers working to reform the state's budget.

"We believe (it) brings everybody back to the table where we can actually work on fixing the problem," he said. "This body is really ready to solve the problem."

Geymann said the move was not orchestrated by the Fiscal Hawks.

"It certainly helps us get where we want to be," he said.

Geymann said he believes the rejection of the amendments reflected the frustration lawmakers have with how the budget was handled in previous sessions.

"You see year-end cuts, and people are just getting tired of it," he said. "Right now Republicans and Democrats are all wanting to fix the problem."

Voting to reject the amendments were Reps. James Armes, D-Leesville, Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur, Geymann, John Guinn, R-Jennings, Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek, and Frank Howard, R-Many.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles and Bob Hensgens, R-Abbeville voted for the amendments.

Rep. A.B. Franklin, D-Lake Charles, was marked as absent. Hill was marked as absent for one of the votes.

The House is scheduled to consider House Bill 1 on May 9.

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