Gov. Edwards addresses budget crisis, discusses hard cuts

Gov. Edwards addresses budget crisis, discusses hard cuts

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Newly elected Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to make a rare televised address Thursday night to talk about the state's budget crisis.

The state's revenue estimating conference panel looked at the numbers again and said the budget deficit is actually much worse than first estimated.

Wednesday, the panel revealed this operating budget deficit is expect to exceed $800 million. Next year it is expected it will be short more than $2 billion.
The governor said the budget needs a solution by June 30 when the current budget year ends.

Lawmakers at a special session that begins Sunday and runs for three weeks will try to come up with solutions.

FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman said during the session, tempers may flare but this is a problem that desperately needs to be fixed.

"This is going to be an especially bloody session because we've got a philosophical divide between the governor who is okay raising taxes, raising revenues and a House run by conservatives who are philosophically opposed to many types of new revenue," Sherman said.

One of the reasons for the deficit -- the oil industry is not doing well economically -- so that's resulted in fewer sales taxes from that industry.

One of the governor's suggestions increasing the state sales tax by a penny in the short term to help the budget situation.

FOX 8 will carry the address live at 6:30 p.m. on television, and our news app, and afterwards, the official Republican response from Treasurer John Kennedy, as well as a response from state Rep. John Schroder (R-Covington). Sherman will also give insight after the address.

A programming note: Wheel of Fortune will air at 10:35 p.m. following FOX 8 News at 10.

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