Governor John Bel Edwards has unveiled his budget plan and it includes massive cuts to several programs.

The plan would TOPS by 80%. It would also mean huge cuts to higher education. DHH cuts could jeopardize public private partnership deals to run hospitals for the poor including University Health in Shreveport.

Healthcare waivers that provide help to the disabled also see a cut.

The governor says the state faces a $1 billion shortfall because temporary taxes roll off the books. One of those temporary taxes is a penny of the state’s sales tax which has been in place for 2 years.

“If you all had done what I asked you to do, I promise you there wouldn't be a cut in TOPS in my executive budget proposal this year,” Edwards told members of the Joint Committee on the Budget.

The governor was hoping to call lawmakers into special session next month to revamp our tax structure to solve the budget crisis. But so far, lawmakers have not agreed to push some of the legislation the Governor wants.

The Governor is calling on lawmakers to bring him a budget that can help us get out of the crisis, but so far, he has not gotten any proposals that would address the fiscal cliff. "I cannot negotiate with myself. It doesn’t work that way," Edwards said.

If lawmakers do gather in a special session next month, Edwards says he would like it to begin on February 15th.


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