Louisiana legislators spent Sunday night in session. It was the first of what could be many long nights and weekends for lawmakers who had better get to work fast if they want to stave off a complete collapse of our state. The special session of the legislature was called by Governor John Bel Edwards in order to fix one very big problem, the state's huge budget deficit. 

In his address to legislators last night  Edwards' words were pretty stark and straightforward.

We need a balanced approach of strategic cuts and new revenue, focusing on one without the other would be irresponsible, especially when the problem is so massive.

Massive is kind of an understatement. The state's budget deficit is currently $940 million. The Governor is urging this special session to think beyond politics and think about the future of the state.

Let's write a new headline in Louisiana.That we are able to work together to solve the greatest budget challenge to ever strike this state.

Many Republican lawmakers have expressed their concerns over the proposal to raise taxes on citizens in the state. However, with a budget deficit this large it will take some incredible math skills and the a very sharp budget cutting blade to fill that gap.

Mike Walsworth is a Republican Senator representing the people of West Monroe. He told the Louisiana Radio Network,

We'll work together try to talk about hey could we do this, could we do that,and try to find some middle ground. There's a lot of middle ground out there that we can find, I believe.

Walsworth and several of his Republican contemporaries believe there are many state agencies and departments that are over spending.  Bossier City Representative Mike Johnson suggested that cutting spending is something lawmakers should focus on before raising taxes.

There are number of areas of fraud and abuse and waste in state government. Anyone who suggests otherwise, simply is not telling the truth or is uninformed.

Lawmakers have until March 9th to reach their conclusions. That is when this special session is slated to end.