The special session kicks off today to address a one-billion dollar shortfall. Legislators have until March 7th to find a fix to the looming fiscal cliff or else cuts will occur in the areas of higher education and health care. Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin says the governor has talked privately with House Speaker Taylor Barras on solutions, but...
“I don’t think that means by any stretch that anything is a done deal, that they have worked anything out in terms of real detail.”
Early reports say legislators are making progress on a fix to the one billion dollar budget gap. Erwin says even though a deal isn’t currently on hand, he expects some agreement to be made.
“There are enough reason to get something done in February that will push them together to do that (fix the fiscal cliff), but you never know with this bunch.”
Edwards is calling for the replacement of the expiring sales taxes with permanent tax reform that would eliminate certain deductions for businesses, and the GOP wants spending reductions. Erwin doubts the governor will get the legislation he wants.
“I’m less optimistic that what they pass will be permanent or resemble much in the way of tax reform, and I think that is really unfortunate.”
Erwin says he doesn’t expect an agreement to be made that can secure the 70 House votes and the governor’s signature until late into the session.