Lawmakers discuss governors 'doomsday' budget - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Lawmakers discuss governors 'doomsday' budget

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With the legislative session six weeks away, Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging fellow lawmakers to hold a special session to pass a budget that is projected to have a $1 billion shortfall. 

The Democratic governor and Republican held house are still at an impasse.

"We're not trying to grow government beyond what's needed to provide the services that the people of Louisiana need, deserve, and demand," Edwards explained.

The governor is urging the legislature to raise revenue to prevent the so-called "doomsday" budget from taking effect. 

"The plan that I gave to the legislature is giving the legislature its own plan! I took the recommendations from a task force that was created to study these issues to how to proceed with long-term structural tax reform in a way that produces more fairness, more predictability, and more stability," Edwards said.

Without additional revenue, higher education and health programs face substantial cuts. 

State Treasurer John Schroder says the people of Louisiana don't want to continue to carry the state's financial burden.

"There is no trust. Or enough trust. The governor might think the citizens and all the people in Louisiana trust them to raise revenue, I will tell you emphatically no," explained Schroder.

State Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, says she's not happy with the the governor's "doomsday budget," but she is optimistic lawmakers and the governor's office will find a solution.

"The hope is we'll have a reasonable budget with cuts to some programs we'll have to make like to the TOPS, but it won't be to the program, it will be where we have waste, and we can afford to make cuts that don't hurt people. But, usually, it starts out with proposal to cut the things that people like the most. And, as it goes to the process we find other places to make cuts," Landry said.

Edwards told KATC he received a letter from House Speaker Taylor Barras on Tuesday night with a list of budgetary regulations Republicans would like to see implemented. The governor noted that this is moving in a positive direction and suggests the party leaders are closer to sitting down for negotiations.

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