New Session, Old Problems for Lawmakers

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's finances again will be front and center as lawmakers return to Baton Rouge on Monday for a two-month regular legislative session.

The main debate remains Louisiana's perennial one: how to stabilize the state budget after nearly a decade of persistent shortfalls.Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, is pushing a rewrite of tax laws aimed at raising new dollars for the state treasury and offsetting the loss of $1.3 billion in temporary taxes that expire in mid-2018. He's proposing a new tax on business, a tax on their gross receipts.

House Republican leaders are resistant to tax hikes and instead are looking for ways to shrink government spending.

The 60-day session opens at noon, with Edwards outlining his goals to the House and Senate an hour later.

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