Another Louisiana special session on taxes opens
BATON ROUGE (AP) - Louisiana's House and Senate have opened their latest special session on taxes, a last-ditch effort to raise dollars to lessen budget cuts only two weeks away.
State lawmakers kicked off their fourth legislative session this year Monday afternoon, with frustration simmering about disputes that cratered two prior sessions on taxes.
The tax debate centers on whether to renew part of a 1 percent temporary sales tax that expires July 1 and whether to scale back sales tax breaks that people and businesses receive.
Lawmakers passed a budget for the upcoming year that needs another $500 million to be fully financed. Without additional money, cuts will fall across the TOPS tuition program, college campuses, food stamps and public safety programs.
Gov. John Bel Edwards wants lawmakers to raise the full amount.