Governor Edwards Expected To Issue Call For Special Session Beginning Feb. 13th
Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to issue the call for a rebalancing the budget special session that would begin February 13th. Jeremy Alford of LaPolitics.com says lawmakers have to address a $304 million budget deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30th and Edwards will push the use of 119 million dollars from Rainy Day Fund to offset that shortfall.
“I haven’t heard any counter proposals for using less than $119 million , that’s certainly a possibility. It seems like the Senate has wrapped its arms more around that number than the House has but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Edwards has said he will allow legislators to propose higher taxes and fees during this special session but he will not recommend any himself. He says the other items in the call will allow legislators to make cuts throughout the budget.
“This could be a special session without fireworks if lawmakers can come in and come to some kind of consensus that the governor can see eye to eye to, they could very well end this thing before Mardi Gras hits its peak down in New Orleans.”
Alford says Republican lawmakers will likely propose large cuts to the state health department after a recent audit found the state agency has mismanaged millions of dollars.
“That’s causing some conservatives on the appropriations committee to wonder aloud and very publicly if the Department of Health is a place where some of these spending reductions can be accomplished.”