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Governor calls for second special session to patch budget holes

6 months 1 week 3 days ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 May 27, 2016 4:00 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced a second special session of the Louisiana Legislature to address the remaining $600 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year.

The special session will begin on Monday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. The session must adjourn by midnight on June 23 as the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Without the special session, the Governor’s Office says K-12 education, higher education, health care services and TOPS will face unnecessary cuts.

“We have critical priorities in health care, K-12 education, and higher education that need to be funded right away,” said Gov. Edwards. “We can’t just talk about wanting to fund these programs, we need to act. Delaying this special session would only contribute to the problems our state has faced for far too long. I have developed a package of proposals that would specifically address our immediate crisis without threatening the programs that the vast majority of the people of Louisiana consider to be important. Now is our chance to make bold decisions that will turn this ship in the right direction. I am confident we will garner the support we need to fund state government in a way that’s worthy of the people of our state.”

The Govenor's Office says its package of legislation includes several responsible revenue-raising measures, some of which have already gained enough support to be put into action.

The special session will also allow the legislature to address issues that arose in the final minutes of the first special session.

Without additional revenue, K-12 education will face a $50 million cut, higher education will face a $47 million cut and critical health care services and TOPS will both face "catastrophic cuts." The Governor says he is determined to find solutions that adequately fund these programs during this special session.

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