Cuts loom as latest budget deficit tops $300 million
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's midyear deficit has been pegged at $313 million, a figure that Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration says will trigger the governor to call a special legislative session to re-balance the budget.
An income forecasting panel downgraded Louisiana tax collection estimates Friday, to account for unemployment that is dragging income, business and sales taxes below expectations.
Edwards' chief budget adviser Jay Dardenne says the governor will call lawmakers into a special session - expected next month - to make cuts and consider using Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to close the gap.
Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras showed resistance to the idea, suggesting the budget could be rebalanced without the full Legislature. Dardenne says constitutional limits would make cuts fall too heavily on colleges and health services without a special session.