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Edwards releases budget proposal without taxes, only cuts

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BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has presented its doomsday budget to lawmakers.

Edwards' chief financial adviser Jay Dardenne unveiled Saturday what next year's budget looks like if Louisiana cuts more than $2 billion in state financing to close a budget gap, rather than raise taxes. He called it "disastrous."

The public school financing formula would be shielded, but nearly every other agency would take hefty cuts in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Colleges and health services would take a 24 percent cut in state financing.

The presentation to the joint House and Senate budget committee came ahead of a special legislative session beginning Sunday. Edwards wants lawmakers to boost taxes to stop cuts next year, as well as rebalance this year's budget before June 30 without deep slashing.

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