Governor Edwards calls special session with optimism to solve $648 million budget hole
Posted on 5/14/2018 5:54:00 PM.
Governor John Bel Edwards has put out the call for a special session that would begin May 22nd, and end June 4th. During the special session, revenue could be raised that would potentially plug the 648 million dollar state budget shortfall resulting from expiring sales taxes. The February special session fell apart just days into the process, but Edwards is optimistic that the second time is the charm.
"And I actually am optimistic that our next special session can and will be successful because we’ve heard from both in the House and the Senate now republicans and democrats saying that these cuts are catastrophic.”
The budget shortfall has forced the legislature to reckon with a lack of funds, with a House budget that slashed healthcare to spare education, including the elimination of public-private partnership hospitals, and a Senate budget that favored healthcare over higher ed and agency funding. Edwards says they have no choice but to raise revenues in response.

“It simply is not possible to fashion a responsible budget that adequately funds our critical priorities with the revenue that is available next fiscal year.”

Edwards is hoping the legislature adopts his revenue plan that would keep a portion of a expiring penny sales tax, while eliminating sales tax exemptions for certain industries.

“The plan that I’ve put forward would allow for a net tax reduction from this year to next of approximately 400 million dollars.”

John Bel Edwards, state budget shortfall, special session

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