Watch Governor John Bel Edwards Answer Questions about End of Session
Louisiana lawmakers remained deadlocked all day and could not reach a compromise on the big budget bills. The special session started at 6:30 and Governor John Bel Edwards address the state's dilemna during a news conference.
You can watch it live here:
The session runs until Monday, June 19th. The Governor issued the call for the session in case lawmakers can't come to terms on a budget deal. Edwards did not include any items to raise revenue.
The budget in its current form is a nonstarter, therefore, the additional time could be necessary. The work before us for the next week is critically important, and I’m asking members of the legislature to work with me to adopt a responsible budget that adequately funds the state’s priorities.
The call for the special session includes only four items:
Item 1: The Supplemental Appropriations Bill
Item 2: The State Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018
Item 3: The Capital Outlay Budget and Capital Outlay Program for Fiscal Year 2017-2018
Item 4: The Omnibus Bond Authorization Act of 2017 to fund the Capital Outlay Program
Here is more from the Governor's Office:
Louisiana On July 1, 2018, Louisiana faces a $1.3 billion fiscal cliff due to the fact that the legislature passed legislation that provided temporary revenue for the state primarily in the form of a sales tax. The revenue was meant to stabilize the budget which, at the time, was facing a $2 billion shortfall inherited from the previous administration. The current regular session is the last “fiscal session” before the cliff.
In addition to supporting the recommendations of a bipartisan task force created by the legislature, which spent more than 125 hours studying the state’s budgeting practices and how to reform Louisiana’s broken tax and budget structure, Gov. Edwards offered a comprehensive plan to the legislature as an alternative to the task force recommendations. The governor’s plan included a tax cut for 90 percent of all Louisianans, the removal of the fifth penny of sales tax on July 1, 2018 and a good-faith effort to stop the practice of allowing 80 percent of corporations operating in Louisiana to pay nothing in income taxes. The Governor's plan, taken as a whole, would lower rates across the board for individuals and businesses, broaden the tax base, and provide the budget stability for which people and businesses from all corners of the state have advocated. The House leadership has blocked the task force’s recommendations, blocked the governor’s alternative plan, as well as plans from members of their own party.