Louisiana governor's speech stokes fears, threatens football
BATON ROUGE - Hospitals shuttered. Hospice services and kidney dialysis treatments cut. Colleges closed mid-semester. And no football season for the LSU Tigers.
Gov. John Bel Edwards outlined dire consequences to Louisiana residents in his statewide televised speech urging them to support tax hikes to close a massive budget gap.
The Democratic governor said Thursday that he was providing the harsh reality of how bad the state's financial troubles really look. But on Friday others accused Edwards of resorting to scare tactics to cajole lawmakers to raise taxes in a special session that begins Sunday.
Louisiana has a shortfall ranging from $850 million to $950 million in this year's $25 billion budget, which must be closed by June 30.
While the governor wants new taxes, some Republican lawmakers have shown resistance to the idea.