BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana House of Representatives passed a 92-6 Budget just before 5:00 on Friday Afternoon. It’s a move many representatives have termed historic, Democrats and Republicans came together in a rare move to work out a plan to get an operating Budget on the floor and over to the Senate.
There are still cuts coming to some of the state’s biggest industries, but many are comfortable with the way things worked out.
The arguing on the House floor could have devastated the work Phil Beard and his family does everyday.
"I want to see my family continue to work here and grow our business here," explained Beard.
Beard and his family run a lighting company, they've worked on many major movies filmed right here in Louisiana. Something they wouldn't have been able to do without a little help from government tax credits.
“We’ve been competing with LA and we're third now in the nation for productions," explained Beard.
This year lawmakers did take some of that help away in an attempt to get more money for the state.
"We feel very confident that there'll be a savings of at least $20 million in the program, but we still have gone a long way to protect it, encourage it, sustain it, make it strong and make it highly competitive across the nation," explained Walt Leger, Democratic State Representative.
Beard is a Louisiana native. He said he is torn, he knows the state needs money, but said it's a fine balance getting revenue from the film industry.
"We need to be honest and share that pain. I mean if we have to take a reduction in that tax credit, ok," Beard shared.
Lawmakers maintain they have done that in this year's budget.
"The legislature wants to keep these programs strong. We recognize the value of them. We also recognize we have to balance things out. At this point some revenue is needed to meet the needs of the people of this state, " explained Leger.
The Budget now goes over to the Senate where it will be discussed and debated. House lawmakers were also able to fit in funding for the State Police, the State Police have not had a new cadet class in several years.