Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Edwards says lawmakers should feel \'urgency\'

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BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards said he believes there's time in the dwindling days of the special session to persuade House lawmakers to back more tax bills to lessen budget cuts.

Bills that will raise around $220 million in the budget year that begins July 1 have received final passage, but so far, the House has balked at passing anything more.

Edwards and lawmakers received grim news this week from an LSU economist who sits on the state's income forecasting panel. Jim Richardson said Louisiana could close the current year with up to a $200 million deficit, on top of the $600 million shortfall estimated for next year.

The Democratic governor said Friday: "The sense of urgency ought to be increasing every day" for lawmakers.

The session must end by next Thursday.


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