Louisiana Governor calls third special session

Louisiana Governor calls third special session
Gov. John Bel Edwards criticized House Republican leaders at a news conference Monday for failing to pass a revenue bill. (Source: Kaylee Poche/LSU Manship School News Service)

BATON ROUGE, LA (KSLA) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is calling lawmakers back to Baton Rouge for another special session as the state faces an almost $650 million budget shortfall.

The session will begin on June 18 and must end by 6:00 p.m. on June 27.

This will be the third special session of the year. Two previous special sessions ended in failure as lawmakers couldn't find a compromise on how to fund next year's budget.

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Louisiana is quickly approaching a so-called fiscal cliff. The state sales tax, currently at five percent, is set to drop to four percent next month.

The question of how much of that expiring tax to renew has created most of the gridlock that the state legislature can't seem to overcome.

A June 30 deadline looms for legislators to come up with a solution to the problem, or many state programs would face drastic funding cuts.

TOPS is at risk of being cut by 30% and more than $90 million could be ripped from higher education budgets, according to lawmakers. District attorneys offices, correctional facilities, K-12 education, and public safety programs would also all face damaging cuts.

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