Annoyed Edwards hammers lawmakers over budget Friday
BATON ROUGE - Hopes that the state budget crisis was nearing a resolve were shattered Friday when the legislative body that monitors finance determined a plan to generate $75 million before the end of the budget year wouldn't work out.
The plan called for a change to the payment schedule under which businesses turn over sales tax collections to the state, the Associated Press reported. Lawmakers hoped the change would generate millions before June 30 th but Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur revealed Friday, analysts now believe the bill won't generate money for the current budget year.
The budget gap senators thought they had whittled to $67 million now may top $140 million.
Just before lunch, Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the issue in a news conference where he blasted lawmakers for not doing enough to deal with the budget issue.
"Those who think we can solve this problem another time are gravely mistaken, the consequences will be catastrophic," he said, adding he is less optimistic than he has been. The budget crisis must be solved by the time the special legislative session ends Wednesday.
Edwards pointed his furry specifically at the Louisiana House of Representatives where he served until he was elected governor last year. Edwards blamed the House for holding up the budget balancing process.
"I'm prepared to suffer the political scares, I will do the people's business," he said.
Later Friday, lawmakers were set to discuss the final budget measures.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: this story also contained a link to the live-stream of the governor's address but it was removed and the story updated when the governor completed his news conference a few minutes before noon on Friday.