JBE: Cuts may worsen, but no special session

by Jeremy Alford, LaPolitics

Given the mounting concern over the state’s incoming revenue this fiscal year, several conversations at high levels have been had about a potential special session of the Louisiana Legislature, but it’s unlikely that one will actually be called, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The governor discussed Louisiana’s budget challenges, among other topics, during his recent appearance on The LaPolitics Report podcast.

Speculation about a special session has been swirling since the state discovered it had a $313 million deficit to carry over from last fiscal year — a gap that is now being addressed with midyear budget cuts.

“Informally it has been (discussed), both between certain members of the Legislature and myself and a little discussion with members of my administration,” Edwards said. “But as of right now there are no plans for a special session. I think the chances are more likely than not we will not have a special session.”

Edwards did say he is concerned about incoming revenue for this fiscal year. He said he is keeping his “fingers crossed” for an uptick in sales tax collections in October, but the rest of the fiscal year remains an unknown.

“The additional cuts we are going to make this year based on the deficit last year when we closed the books, and potentially a problem in the current fiscal year where the revenue is not coming in as anticipated in the fiscal notes, are going to be really nasty cuts,” he said.