Governor-elect's adviser warns of 'more dire' budget woes
BATON ROUGE - Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards' administration is warning that Louisiana's budget woes are even worse than it had anticipated, with an estimated shortfall of up to $750 million that needs to be closed by the end of June.
Jay Dardenne, Edwards' chief financial adviser, told reporters on Wednesday that the incoming administration hasn't settled on a plan for fixing the budget problem for the current fiscal year. But he says Edwards has not ruled out tax increases, which would need legislative approval.
Dardenne said the fiscal outlook "is more dire than we thought it was" due to new revenue estimates that show a continuing drop in oil prices and a slump in collections from corporate income taxes and sales taxes.
Edwards will be sworn into office on Jan. 11.
The full text of a letter distributed by Lt. Gov. Dardenne to the current Louisiana Legislature that outlines the money problems facing the state can be viewed by clicking here.