New legislative session, same budget problems
BATON ROUGE- Louisiana's lawmakers are kicking off a new legislative session, with the same financial problems that have kept the state staggering from one budget crisis to the next.
The House and Senate were unable to fully dig out of the budget gaps in a contentious special session on taxes that ended only days ago. They start the three-month regular session Monday staring down an $800 million shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
With taxes off the table for the session, lawmakers will be left cobbling together a budget that likely will contain steep cuts across government services.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat in office since January, speaks to the majority Republican Legislature an hour after the latest session opens at noon.
The session must end June 6.