That was essentially the message today as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the media and informed them that a budget plan, they thought was closing down the major $900 million dollar and $2B shortfall for this and for next year, has blown a gasket.
Here is the transcript of the initial part of the press conference, and the entire video of the event.
Obviously I asked for this press availability to make sure that you and the people of Louisiana know that the legislature's work is nowhere near finished. As of right now, we still have a $147 million gap in the current year and a billion gap for next fiscal year that we have to address in the next five days.
As I mentioned to you all earlier, we cannot raise revenue in the regular session that starts later this month. And so for our state agencies and higher education, everybody is going to be impacted by this budget deficit for next year. They're going to have to start making decisions in the next 7 to 10 days. We don't have time . We have to work now in order to provide the predictability and stability of funding and the sufficiency of funding that we need to deliver essential state services next year. And I say that because many members of the media, many folks around the state, but most troubling, many members of the legislature or speaking in terms of only the current year budget deficit.
We have to address them both if we're going to be successful and if we're going to do the people's business in the way that they expect us to do it. And I realized that everyone left here yesterday thinking that we were closer to resolving the current year problem then we actually are and unfortunately, that change with the reversal of the fiscal note on a bill involving advanced sales tax where I understand the fiscal note went from a $75 million positive number to a zero. So if you add that up and take to reduce the reduced fiscal note on the tobacco bill because of of the amendments, we're $147 million short the current yea. And again we cannot forget the deficit that were facing next year because that to has to be addressed before Wednesday.
Now I'll be talking about this problem since at least December 29. More than two months ago and certainly before I took office and that is why I propose a and balanced plan to address current year and next year fully, through a combination of strategic cuts and responsible revenue enhancements. However, as of today, the legislature has failed to produce any alternative to my plan that comes anywhere close to solving the problem, and to make matters worse, the legislature has wasted multiple days this week when they should have been voting. They should have been legislating, they should have been moving forward, the plan I gave them or at least advancing their own plan. That hasn't happened.
And other than that, while I'm certainly going to keep working as hard as I can and I know that we have an opportunity to do right by the people of Louisiana and fix these problems, I'm less optimistic today as I stand before you then I was last week and that's simply a recognition of the realities that come 6 PM Wednesday night of next week, were going to adjourn. And there has not been a lot of movement this week, so today, specifically, I'm asking the legislature to vote on some of my proposals including the alcohol tax. And I want every one in the state to know that just like all revenue enhancement measures they don't come without some pain. It's not the sort of thing that I want to propose or the people want to vote on but we need to put it in perspective