Legislature moving through bills this week, anticipating special session May 10, 2018BlogJessica Hemingway As we close this week, Legislators are pushing lots of bills as an apparent end to the session is nearing. There are no firm dates set for the end of the session, as it legally must end by June 4. However, Gov. John Bel Edwards said on KEEL radio on Friday morning, he and legislative officials were talking about a possible end to the session on May 18 with a special session beginning May 22. This week, both the House and Senate have worked feverishly in committee meetings and on the floors to get the bills moving. However, there are still a great amount of bills that are still in committee, particularly on the House side. On Wednesday, there was heavy debate for a bill our Chamber has been in favor of – House bill 500 regarding a future constitutional convention. After much debate, the measure failed but is not dead for the future, as it continues to make it a little bit further each time it’s heard. [See how they voted here] Things to note: The one-cent temporary sales tax is set to sunset on June 30. No budget has been passed. The Senate Finance Committee today unanimously approved a revised state budget, which restored funding for nursing home residents and safety-net hospitals but cut other government agencies by 24.2 percent. The budget should be on the Senate floor early next week and then go back to the House for concurrence. Because of uncertainty in the budget and possible cuts to healthcare, earlier this week Medicaid recipients were mailed letters that their benefits may not continue to be funded and state-funded hospitals have begun to prepare for possible layoffs.