Blanco to Address Lawmakers

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The Louisiana Legislature will meet Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in a special meeting to get an update on the status of the state in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco will address a joint meeting of the House and Senate and the citizens of Louisiana at 6:30 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the House of Representatives says the meeting will not be a lawmaking session and the legislature cannot pass resolutions or take any legislative action. The meeting will not continue beyond Wednesday evening.

House and Senate leaders say they called the meeting under a provision of the state Constitution stating that the Legislature is a "continuous body" that can meet even when not in a lawmaking session.

A press aide in the governor's office says Blanco called the meeting. Blanco has the constitutional authority to convene an "emergency session" of the Legislature in the event of a public catastrophe, but she has not declared such a session.

Lawmakers and state officials are anticipating that the governor will call a special or emergency lawmaking session to deal with the storm's impact on the state and its budget priorities.