Meet the legislative players preparing to tackle state's budget holes
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards often says Louisiana is in the worst budget crisis of a generation facing the largest state deficit in all its history. Simply put, the state does not have enough money to pay for critical and popular services like hospitals and the TOPS college tuition scholarship program.
During the years of Governor Bobby Jindal, funding for state agencies was cut and recurring expenses were paid with one-time money. Also, a downturn in oil prices have cost oil-rich Louisiana millions in tax revenue.
Lawmakers have been called into two separate special sessions this year to raise more revenue. They raised the sales tax in first special session back in March. Combined with local rates, Louisiana now has one of the highest sales taxes in the country. Now, lawmakers will consider raising income taxes or eliminating so-called cooperate giveaways. It’s a complicated process with a lot of special interests, a look at the players is available in the image gallery above.