BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards has released his official order calling for lawmakers to convene Feb. 14 in a special legislative session aimed at stabilizing Louisiana's finances.

The Democratic governor's proclamation, released Friday, sets the dates and parameters for the session, which can run until March 9.

Edwards says the session's goal is to end cycles of continuing budget shortfalls. He's proposing tax increases to raise new money for the treasury, saying that's the only way to avoid devastating cuts to public colleges and health services.

Republican lawmakers say there's room for reductions in government spending, but Edwards only included some of their ideas in the special session.

Louisiana has a more than $700 million shortfall this year and estimates of a nearly $2 billion gap for next year.

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