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Edwards readying ideas for session to start after Mardi Gras

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BATON ROUGE - Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards says in fewer than two weeks he'll release a "menu of options" for digging Louisiana out of its continuing budget troubles.

Edwards said Monday proposals will include spending cuts, the draw-down of more federal money, expanded flexibility to cut protected budget areas and reduction of state tax breaks. 

The governor-elect, who takes office Jan. 11, doesn't expect to gain support for each idea - but sees the suggestions as a way to determine which proposals gain traction from lawmakers and the public.

Edwards plans a special legislative session, to begin the week after Mardi Gras, to work on stabilizing Louisiana's finances. His administration estimates the state faces a $750 million shortfall in the remaining six months of this budget year, and a larger gap next year.


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