With the passage this afternoon of a funding bill by the House, the Louisiana Legislature is now on track to end its third special session of the year by Sunday, Gov. John Bel Edwards says.
Edwards had a press conference after the House adjourned for the day, after it passed a compromise funding bill that renews .45 cents of an expiring one-cent sales tax. For days, members of that body had argued over whether to support a .5 penny renewal or a .4 penny renewal. The compromise came about quickly today – after months of negotiations and two failed special sessions.
"This plan is not perfect, but that’s the nature of a compromise," Edwards said of the proposal, which now goes to the Senate for approval. The Senate already had approved the .5 penny plan.
Edwards said the plan brings stable funding for Louisiana higher education, the continuation of SNAP, and full funding of the TOPS program.
"By definition, when you compromise, you accept some things you don’t want in exchange for things you do want," he said. "We’re going to fund our most critical priorities, and I’m confident we’re on a much better path."
The next reduction in taxes on Louisiana citizens is almost $600 million, Edwards said.
Edwards said his administration has made strategic cuts, and will continue to do so, he said.
"We’ve still got some work to do, we’re not over the goal line yet, but we’re so much closer today than we were," he said. "We can take a deep breath, come back to work tomorrow in the Senate. We’re on pace to end this special session Sunday night."
Here’s the video of the full press conference: