The state of Louisiana is facing a huge budget crisis for this fiscal year that ends June 30, and an even bigger program when next fiscal year's budget starts on July 1.

The governor, John Bel Edwards, has called a special session to start this Sunday, February 14, and it will last three weeks. Lawmakers will try to tackle the issues we are facing.

Governor Edwards also plans to address the state this Thursday evening via the media.  He is scheduled to start his speech at 6:30 p.m., and KPEL will carry his address.

The governor says in a written statement,

"The challenges facing Louisiana are so severe, and the risk of doing nothing is so big, that it is important for me to outline these problems directly to the people. I promised to be open and transparent with the people of Louisiana and give them the facts, and that's what I intend to do. There are some real consequences if we do not work together to solve the state's financial problems and I want to personally communicate them to the citizens of our state."

The Revenue Estimating Conference says the budget shortfall for this year is not $700 million as previously thought but $892 million dollars.

The budget shortfall for next fiscal year is estimated to be at $1.9 billion dollars.