Governor John Bel Edwards says he may not issue the call for a special session where lawmakers could address a looming fiscal cliff in 2018. Edwards says House Republicans did not support any of the recommendations from the tax reform task force in the regular session, nor did they propose a plan of their own. He’s skeptical anything would be accomplished in another special session.
“So until I can be reasonably assured that a special session would not result in the same inaction, the same failure of leadership, why would I call one?” Edwards said.
Edwards says he’s not giving up. He says he will continue to work with lawmakers to try and find common ground where a compromise can be reached. But he says the options before the legislature in a future special session won’t be any different than they were this year.
“I do suspect that if there’s one thing that will be different, it’ll be the sense of urgency because as we get closer to that cliff in time, perhaps some folks will take it more seriously,” Edwards said.
More than a billion in temporary taxes are set to expire next year. If the call is issued, Edwards says he will look to House leadership to assure him that lawmakers have a plan they will support. He says almost any option would be much better than the alternative.
“The alternative is that we come back in March of next year in a three-month general non-fiscal session and pass a budget that is going to be at least $1.2 billion short of state general fund,” Edwards said.