special session

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There’s only two months left in the fiscal year, and doubts are growing as to whether a spending plan for next budget year can be approved in the current regular session. A 648-million dollar budget gap is forcing lawmakers to consider deep cuts in state spending. LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says we’re approaching uncharted waters.

 

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Now that the special session concluded without a solution to fill a one-billion-dollar budget shortfall in July, TOPS funding could be cut by 80-percent. There are nearly 48-thousand TOPS students. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says many parents can’t afford to send their kids to college without some financial help. Those college prospects are looking elsewhere to get their education.

 

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All hope appears lost that the state legislature will pass any tax measures in this special session to address a nearly one-billion dollar shortfall. A sales tax bill that would provide nearly 300-million dollars in revenues was defeated soundly for a second time last night. Jeremy Alford, the publisher of LA-politics-dot-com, was there for the vote.

Alford says that the bill "went down in flames" with a 33-70 vote. 

 

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The special session kicks off today to address a one billion dollar shortfall. Legislators have until March 7th to find a fix to the looming fiscal cliff or else cuts will occur in the areas of higher education and health care. Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says the governor has talked privately with house speaker Taylor Barras on solutions.

 

Early reports say legislators are making progress on a fix the to one billion dollar budget gap. Erwin says even though a deal isn’t currently on hand, he expects some agreement to be made.

 

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Today is the deadline for Governor John Bel Edwards to call a February special session to address the looming one billion dollar budget hole resulting in the expiration of sales taxes. The governor said he would not call the session without an agreement in principle on a fiscal cliff deal, but LAPoltics.com publisher Jeremy Alford says the governor is being pushed to call the session.

 

Because it’s a revenue issue, the fiscal cliff can only be addressed in a special session.

 

Opening day formalities behind them, lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards are trying to negotiate a deal to close Louisiana's $304 million deficit. 

The Democratic governor met Tuesday morning with top House and Senate leaders in closed-door talks, on the second day of a budget-rebalancing special session. 

The central point of contention is whether to use Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to help close the gap and if so, how much.