Now is the time for lawmakers to work on a plan to address the looming fiscal cliff in 2018. That’s the message of a letter Governor John Be Edwards sent to House Speaker Taylor Barras. Lawmakers failed to address the cliff during this year’s fiscal session. Edwards says they simply cannot wait until next year to start working.
“We’re going to work extremely hard with the leadership in the House and the Senate and with different stakeholders around the state to come up with a responsible plan so we don’t fall off that cliff,” Edwards said.
Over a billion dollars in temporary taxes are set to expire in July of next year. The governor advises Barras to form a working group of both Democrats and Republicans to find a way to replace that lost revenue. Edwards says something must be done to fill that budget hole.
“Doing nothing is not an option. There is no body who can identify $1.3 billion in state general fund cuts that we can enact that would preserve the critical services that the people of Louisiana expect,” Edwards said.
Edwards has proposed several recommendations for addressing the cliff and says he welcome other ideas from lawmakers. The governor will hold meetings around the state to gather public input on the matter. He says it is in everyone’s best interest to devise a plan sooner rather than later.
“It is my hope, my expectation that as we get closer to the fiscal cliff and that sense of urgency increases that they will decide that we do have to act,” Edwards said.