Louisiana governor sets Jan. 19 to reach deal with House GOP
BATON ROUGE (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards set a Jan. 19 deadline to reach a tax deal with House Republican leaders to close a $1 billion budget gap.
If no deal is reached, the Democratic governor says he won't call a February special legislative session. Lawmakers would then have to craft a budget that strips the entire amount through cuts or let it linger unfinished until a June special session.
No one has offered a specific proposal for slashing that much spending.
The budget gap hits July 1. Tax bills can't be considered in the three-month regular legislative session from March until early June.
Edwards announced the deadline Wednesday at an end-of-year news conference where he touted Louisiana's shrinking unemployment rate and avoidance of a midyear deficit for the first time in years.