The Louisiana Legislature's latest special session has teetered between sluggish, combative and deadlock since it started Feb. 19.
Now it's hanging by a thread, with leaders calling Friday a "do or die" day in the State Capitol.
Just hours after a bitter debate Wednesday evening laid bare a simmering resentment, House members returned Thursday – hoping to prevent the session from being a complete failure.
House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, said that legislative leaders are now taking the temperature of each member to see what legislation has the best chance of making it through before the special session ends March 7.
"I'm pleased we have made some progress but we have more work to do," Barras said.
He said a sales tax bill, House Bill 23, that failed Wednesday is a critical component to any deal, though it may be tweaked to make it more acceptable as the clock ticks on passing legislation meant to shore up the budget when temporary tax measures adopted in 2016 expire June 30.