The sixth special session since Governor John Bel Edwards took office is underway. Edwards opened the session on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus, as public colleges are at risk of budget cuts unless legislators approve 648-million dollars in taxes. Edwards hopes the legislature can come together on a plan.
“My hope is that we can shake the divisive partisanship that has begun to take root, put aside our differences and put in place solutions the people of Louisiana deserve.”
The special session must end June 4th. Edwards says now is the time to pass revenue measures that will replace most of the temporary sales taxes that are set to expire on June 30th.
“Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to fully fund our partner hospitals, our medical schools, TOPS, Go Grants, corrections, law enforcement, the National Guard, higher education, the Department of Agriculture, our parks and tourism?”
The Democratic governor has said he can support a proposal to keep up to a halfpenny of an expiring one-cent sales tax. Edwards says he would also like to see legislators remove certain sales tax exemptions
“Let’s simplify the system, reduce the number tax exemptions that we hand out and make this entire process easier for businesses.”