Louisiana Governor shifts strategy for tackling budget gap
BATON ROUGE - With his tax plans repeatedly blocked by House Republicans, Gov. John Bel Edwards is broadening his outreach efforts.
He's trying to build grassroots pressure for permanently stabilizing Louisiana's budget and closing the latest looming, $1 billion-plus shortfall.
The Democratic governor met with business leaders this week to brainstorm budget-balancing ideas. His chief financial adviser, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, is on the traveling speech circuit, making the case for revenue rather than cuts to close the gap.
The reworked strategy appears aimed at getting community leaders involved in influencing GOP lawmakers who have stymied Edwards' previous attempts to rewrite Louisiana tax laws.
About $1.1 billion in temporary sales taxes are expiring when the next budget year begins on July 1, 2018, a drop-off that is being called the "fiscal cliff."