Following votes in the House Ways and Means Committee, Governor John Bel Edwards released this statement:
“Asking Louisianans to pay more in taxes is not an easy thing for anyone, including me, but we’re faced with the largest deficit our state has ever seen and stabilizing our budget is the top priority,” said Gov. Edwards. “By moving the debate forward on additional revenue, we’re one step closer to avoiding catastrophic cuts to our higher education system, critical healthcare services, and programs, such as TOPS. I appreciate the committee’s willingness to make these difficult decisions, and I am optimistic our state will come out of this special session stronger than ever.”
In the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, Louisiana faces a $940 million budget deficit. For the fiscal year that begins July 1, the state faces a $2 billion deficit.
On Feb. 14, Gov. Edwards issued an executive order directing state agencies to evaluate their contracts and make recommendations by March 14th on where these contracts could be eliminated or reduced. A copy of the Executive Order is available by clicking here.
Gov. Edwards also issued an Executive Order unilaterally cutting spending, proposed cuts to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget and the legislature, and wrote the special session call, or agenda, to allow for additional spending cuts and the elimination of government contracts. Initial cuts proposed by the governor totaled more than $160 million. A copy of that Executive Order is available by clicking here. More than half of the governor's budget-solving proposals to correct the deficit are non-revenue raising measures.