State Treasurer worries about Louisiana families as budget crisis looms

State Treasurer worries about Louisiana families as budget crisis looms

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy says, if the state's budget situation isn't fixed, he's concerned for Louisiana families.

June 6th is the final day of the regular legislative session in Baton Rouge.

"If they're not gonna get anything done, they ought to shut it down because it costs about $60,000 a day, that's what taxpayers pay, for the legislators to meet," Kennedy said.

Kennedy explains, he hasn't seen a whole lot of action from lawmakers, tasked with finding ways to plug the state's massive budget deficit.

"So many people at the capitol say it's really hard to cut spending...yeah ask any family, ask any TV station, ask any business, we've done it before," Kennedy commented.

Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to call lawmakers into a second special session, to hunker down and figure out how to plug the $750 million deficit for the next fiscal year, starting July 1st. But FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman explains, despite the governor's wishes, it doesn't guarantee solutions will be found.

"It's likely going to happen. There's some resistance right now because even if there was a special session, it's not clear there's any momentum to reach a compromise and make that a productive special session," Sherman said.

The consequences are dire if the money can't be found.

Sherman explains, "I think we're at a point where we're going to start seeing not just threats but realities of deep budget cuts if this structural deficit can't be cured."

Kennedy fears what will happen to families, connected to the oil and gas industry, already struggling.

"The downturn, the depression in the oil and gas industry which is 40 percent of our economy, is starting to affect the entire state. It's affecting convenience stores, its affecting restaurants. How are they gonna pay more taxes? We need to be concerned about how they're gonna make it," Kennedy said.

Governor Edwards has proposed $792 million in cuts to balance the next fiscal year's budget. While he hasn't offered many specifics, we do know the popular TOPS program may have to be scaled back.

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