The Louisiana House appeared to teeter on the edge of meltdown as the fourth day of the special session began with a rejection of a series of Republican-priority proposals tied to the pricey Medicaid health care program.
But by Thursday evening, and after multiple meetings across various factions, signs began to emerge that tensions may be thawing as the special session continues toward its March 7 deadline.
The House Ways and Means Committee, which is the first hurdle for tax legislation, is expected to meet again Sunday to again take up a series of revenue-raising measures that floundered there earlier this week.
House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, expressed optimism that progress is being made toward a compromise.
Lawmakers are attempting to forge a deal to pass sales tax and income tax measures out of the committee and to the House floor for consideration.
"I feel a lot better – better than I did yesterday," Rep. Ted James, a Baton Rouge Democrat and vice chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, said Thursday evening.
A sales tax proposal seen as critical to the session appeared poised to pass the Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday before James objected, prompting it to be pulled before a vote.