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Governor hopes 18-month sales tax increase gets extended

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BATON ROUGE - At a lunchtime news conference Friday, Governor John Bel Edwards praised lawmakers in the House of Representatives for passing a one-cent sales tax increase but said the 18-month expiration on the tax was too short.

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Edwards said he expects the Senate to alter the sunset - the end of the tax. The penny increase could raise as much as $200 million before the fiscal year is up this summer. The current state budget is nearly $1 billion short.

Edwards said he was frustrated with plans to cut the budget of the Department of Education and does not expect the final decision on how to balance the budget to include DOE cutbacks. Wednesday the house cut education spending by $44 million.

Lawmakers have seemed to find enough money to fill all but $200 million in the FY 2015-2016 budget hole.


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