Final budget plan clears the legislature; session comes to an end without major cuts
Posted on 6/25/2018 5:29:00 AM.

A budget deal is on its way to the governor’s desk that fully funds higher ed, healthcare, and TOPS, and sets the state’s sales tax rate at 4.45% on July 1st. The bill raises 466 million dollars and is set to expire in 2025. Mandeville Senator and Republican Jack Donahue, the bill’s cosponsor, says it’s the compromise the legislature needed to get done.
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fiscal cliff, Louisiana, special session, 2018, TOPS, Medicaid, JP Morrell, Jack Donahue, Sharon Hewitt

Sales tax bill compromise finally reached in the House
Posted on 6/22/2018 3:48:00 PM.

After a week of difficult negotiations, the House has approved legislation that sets Louisiana’s sales tax rate at 4.45 percent through mid-2025. That would be enough revenue to prevent cuts to higher education and the TOPS scholarship program next fiscal year. 

Paula Davis, Special Session, John, Bel Edwards

House to vote on three sales tax bills today
Posted on 6/21/2018 5:24:00 AM.

A vote on the House floor is expected today on three different sales tax bills that raise different amounts of money and they renew up to a half-cent of an expiring one-cent sales tax. Governor John Bel Edwards remains optimistic one of those bills will reach his desk, if not significant cuts will occur.

“For the first time in a long time you are seeing cuts to the National Guard, the department of veteran’s affairs. But it’s also higher education, right now higher education is in line for a 95 million dollar cut.”
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John Bel Edwards, Special Session, Sales Taxes

First full day of special session: no votes taken, old arguments rehashed
Posted on 6/19/2018 1:16:00 PM.

A House committee heard testimony on tax bills during the first full day of the latest special session but took no votes. That frustrated at least one lawmaker, Jackson Representative Kenny Havard, who has authored a bill to renew a portion of the one-cent sales tax that expires June 30th.
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Special Session, Louisiana budget crisis

Governor Edwards asks legislators to break away from partisan gridlock
Posted on 6/18/2018 6:58:00 PM.

The third special session of the year is underway, and Governor John Bel Edwards addressed both chambers saying it’s time to break free of the partisan gridlock as the state approaches the fiscal cliff on June 30th.
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John Bel Edwards, Special Session, Fiscal cliff

2018's Third Special Session Preview
Posted on 6/16/2018 10:24:00 AM.

Eyes across the state are on the kick off of the third special session. Governor John Bel Edwards was 7 votes away from closing in on his wishes to renew a half-cent sales tax in the most recent special session, so now the attention has been turned toward legislators whose votes can tip the scales to approving a definitive tax plan.
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Special Session, Governor John Bel Edwards, Bernie Pinsonat

District Attorneys also face substantial cuts under state budget plan
Posted on 6/15/2018 4:20:00 AM.

Heading into next week’s special session many agencies across the state are facing budget cuts. District attorneys are not exempt from these cutbacks, and it looks like they could be quite steep to the tune of 82 percent if additional funding is not found. Executive Director of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association Pete Adams says the financial slash will be overwhelming.
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District Attorney, Special Session, Budget Cuts

Department of Health Cuts Suggested by House Appropriations Chairman
Posted on 6/13/2018 10:42:00 AM.

The final act of this year’s special session trilogy is less than a week away, with the administration and many legislators scrambling to find some extra cash for programs like TOPS, which is facing a 30 percent cut. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says the Department of Health is one place the state should look if it wants to plug the budget gaps.
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Cameron Henry, Department of Health, Special Session

Proposed cuts to TOPS sending students out of state
Posted on 6/13/2018 4:58:00 AM.

Unless the state legislature approves additional revenue, TOPS will suffer a 30% reduction, a cost that will be passed right back to students and their families. Higher ed is also on the block for a substantial reduction, and Taylor Foundation Executive Director Dr. James Caillier says even if the state approves the funds, we’re already losing some of our highest performers, who are tired of the uncertainty.
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TOPS, scholarships, Louisiana, Higher Education, special session, fiscal cliff, 2018

Fiscal cliff debate shows split in Republican Party
Posted on 6/11/2018 8:40:00 PM.

The fiscal cliff debate is revealing a wide range of opinions from within Louisiana’s Republican Party, ranging from moderates who support the governor’s call for a half cent sales tax renewal, to anti-tax conservatives who favor budget cuts to plug the 648 million dollar shortfall. River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot, who supported a third penny but not a half, says the state needs to tighten its belt.
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fiscal cliff, Louisiana, special session, 2018, Kirk Talbot, Thomas Carmody

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