Special Session Could Become Reality After Budget Meeting
A special session to rebalance the state’s budget could become more of a reality today. LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford anticipates the Edwards administration will present three options to the joint legislative budget on fixing a $304 million shortfall.
“There are going to be some cuts that the governor can implement independently. There are going to be some cuts that the joint budget committee can act upon on their own, and then there are going to be some options that would have to be carried out in a special session,” Alford said.
Alford says what the committee decides, will indicate whether or not another special session will be called before the regular session in April. He says if one is necessary, the Governor will likely call the legislature back in mid-February.
“The biggest vote that would be taken in such a special session would be on the rainy day fund. That would allow lawmakers to immediately erase $119 million from the $304 million deficit,” Alford said.
Many republican lawmakers are not in favor of using rainy day money to help solve the shortfall and prefer more cuts to state spending. Last year legislators approved 1.5 billion dollars in tax increases to solve a budget crisis. Alford says there has been some talk about increasing certain fees to raise more revenue this year.
“The administration says that lawmakers have been asking for opportunities to raise revenue in the special session. Some conservatives are open to the idea, some aren’t,” Alford said.