Edwards urges House Republicans to support more tax bills
BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards tried to persuade Republican lawmakers to back additional taxes as his special legislative session on rebalancing Louisiana's budget moves into its final week.
The Democratic governor met privately with GOP House and Senate members Wednesday morning, urging action.
Edwards said he told Republicans "we're still far short of where we need to be" on closing this year's budget shortfall and addressing next year's larger gap.
The governor's focus was mainly on House action. Republicans there have bottled up several tax hikes Edwards hoped would help stop steep reductions to colleges and health services.
Louisiana had about a $900 million shortfall that must be closed by June 30. Senate leaders have said with the House's package of cuts and taxes, up to a $200 million gap remains.