mid-year budget shortfall

Sue Lincoln

With the bang of the gavel and a call of “The Senate will come to order. Mr Secretary, open the machines for roll call,” thus began the final day of the special session.


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“I don’t understand. In my world, a deficit is the difference between your revenue and your expenses.”

State budget shortfalls are complicated, even for Senator Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell), who sits on the Finance Committee.

“Can you articulate for me in layman’s terms?” Hewitt asks.

With some help from Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, we’ll try.

Laura Baker

“We are attempting to start on time, but as we work through these negotiations, we want to make sure we have every opportunity to hear from everyone,” Speaker Taylor Barras apologized, as the House started more than three hours late Monday afternoon.

Leaders from both chambers were meeting, still trying to find agreement on how much of the Rainy Day Fund to use for the shortfall.

Sue Lincoln

Louisiana’s House and Senate worked through the weekend, drawing somewhat closer to resolving the budget shortfall, while philosophically they remain at odds.

As New Orleans Senator Troy Carter put it last night, “At some point, it becomes just a shell game. I think the people of Louisiana deserve better than that.”

Mark Carroll

“Rainy Day – that’s really all that divides us. It should be the last thing we do, not the first thing we look at.”

House leaders made a strategic decision Friday to first hear the budget-cutting bill that uses none of the Rainy Day Fund.

Wallis Watkins

Governor John Bel Edwards has released his plan for cutting $304 million from this fiscal year’s budget.

The Governor has called for $119 million of that deficit to be filled with money from the Rainy Day Fund. Addressing the Louisiana Municipal Association Tuesday, he explained that money is there to help stabilize the budget. 


media commons

“I’m the last person that really wants a special session. My life is actually easier when you-all are not in session,” Governor John Bel Edwards told the Joint Budget Committee ten days ago.

Yet despite the reservations of most everyone involved, the governor has issued the call for a special session to deal with the current year shortfall.

Wallis Watkins

With golden-bladed shovels, Governor John Bel Edwards, much of the Baton Rouge area legislative delegation and officials with Our Lady of the Lake broke ground Tuesday for a new emergency room for north Baton Rouge.


Sue Lincoln

“I intend to issue a call to bring the Legislature into session to address the shortfall,” Governor John Bel Edwards told the Joint Budget Committee Friday. He advised them to prepare to be in session from February 13th through 23rd.


Sue Lincoln

“Do I have any good news here I can give you?” Legislative Fiscal Analyst Greg Albrecht asked the Revenue Estimating Conference Friday.

“I am even more pessimistic than Greg,” said the Division of Administration's fiscal analyst, Manfred Dix, “So I don’t think the honorable panel wants to hear much what I have to say.”

Both knew the numbers they were giving weren’t what members of the budget forecasting panel wanted to hear.


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