BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers have reached the midpoint of their annual regular session with budget plans starting to take shape, but the fate of most bills still uncertain.

Louisiana Legislature
Courtesy of Louisiana Legislature

Expectations remain intact that legislators will head home without a special session.

After seven special sessions across three years, lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2018 brokered a seven-year tax deal that stabilized the budget.

Financial disagreements continue this session, but the bickering is about spending the new money coming into state coffers, rather than about where to slash spending.

Measures to add new restrictions on abortion are speeding through the Legislature, while the latest effort to raise the state's minimum wage remains a long-shot. A ban on the death penalty again has failed, while the legalization of sports betting continues to advance.

Some of the key issues we are still watching focus on funding for our schools and highway bills.

But the proposal for a Law School at Southern University in Shreveport is also a hot topic for the local community.

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