According to the AP, “Louisiana's midyear deficit has been pegged at $313 million, a figure that Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration says will trigger the governor to call a special legislative session to rebalance the budget.
An income forecasting panel downgraded Louisiana tax collection estimates Friday, to account for unemployment that is dragging income, business and sales taxes below expectations.”
The AP also said that “Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras showed resistance to the idea, suggesting the budget could be rebalanced without the full Legislature.”
Here is the entirety of Governor Edwards’s public statement today:
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the Revenue Estimating Conference’s (REC) decision to downgrade Louisiana’s revenue estimates for this fiscal year:
“Today’s action by the Revenue Estimating Conference clearly indicates the need for a special session. I have said all along that I am not willing to place the burden of this budget crisis only on the backs of our our hardworking families, students or our most vulnerable citizens. In order to avoid that, the entirety of the state’s budget must be opened up in order to make these cuts, otherwise they will be concentrated in a few areas and the impact would be too painful for our people to bear. The only way that can happen is with a special session. I have met with legislative leaders to solicit their input, and together, I know we’ll develop a plan that solves this budget crisis in the most responsible way for our citizens.
“That said, these projections, coupled with our ongoing budget challenges, underscore the need for comprehensive tax reform in the upcoming legislative session. The bipartisan task force charged with examining ways to improve our system has made its recommendations on how we can provide families and businesses much-needed stability and predictability in our tax code going forward. Those recommendations are currently under consideration, and I look forward to working with the legislature in April to make the necessary and responsible reforms so that our state can consistently bring in sufficient revenue to fund the programs we all consider important for Louisiana to prosper.”
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