BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging a study group looking at state budget and tax policy to give him preliminary recommendations by May 15 for ways to raise money to fill financial gaps.

A report from the task force, created by state lawmakers, is due in September. But Edwards says the state can't wait that long and needs some ideas sooner to avoid deep budget cuts.

Task force members say they received the letter Friday from the Democratic governor. They've been working since March and questioned whether they could meet the governor's timeline.

Louisiana faces a $600 million shortfall. Edwards is hoping to get proposals for tax changes that would drum up new money, ahead of a planned June special session aimed at lessening cuts in the upcoming budget year.

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