Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s disappointed at how far behind the legislature is in this fiscal session and it could mean another special session in the near future. Edwards says a tremendous amount of work needs to be done before this session ends on June 8. He says this is the best opportunity lawmakers have to resolve the state’s looming budget problems.
“This is the last fiscal session before the cliff, and we call it the cliff because on July 1, 2018 $1.3 billion in revenue is just gone,” Edwards said.
In 2018, over a billion dollars in temporary taxes will expire, leaving lawmakers with the task of finding other ways to fund state services. Edwards says at this point nothing has moved out of the House that addresses that cliff. He says if legislators fail to act in this session, he’ll call them back to Baton Rouge.
“Hopefully we won’t need one, but every day it looks more and more likely we’ll have to have a special session at some point before the regular session next year,” Edwards said.
Edwards is also not pleased with the budget put together by the House. He says it was done in a very irresponsible fashion and would cut about $720 million from healthcare. And the governor says House Republicans did not specify what areas of the health budget they’d like to see cut. He says that budget will never become law.
“House Bill 1 as it came from the House of Representatives is a nonstarter for me. It is a terribly irresponsible document. It lacks courage,” Edwards said.