Edwards Will Call For Special Session Over Budget Shortfall

Gov. John Bel Edwards says he will call for a 10-day special session to deal with a $304 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year.

Edwards told the Joint Budget Committee Friday the call will come next week. The session will run from Feb. 13-23. The governor believes 10 days will be more than enough to find a solution.

The governor's proposal is to use nearly $120 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund combined with cuts across the state budget "including, but not limited to, the Louisiana Department of Health, the legislature, the judiciary, and statewide elected officials".

Edwards says his proposal will also "minimize cuts to higher education, waivers, and partner hospitals" It will not include cuts to K-12 or propose raising taxes. The call, however, may give lawmakers the option to raise fees.

The governor says his administration is using a "scalpel, not a sledge hammer" to deal with the shortfall.

Edwards' office has posted a FAQ about his proposal.

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