The Latest: Governor's budget-cut proposal delayed to Monday
Jan. 17, 2018
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana's budget and tax negotiations (all times local):
Winter weather in Louisiana has forced a delay in the release of Gov. John Bel Edwards' budget proposal for next year.
The Democratic governor intended to unveil his spending plan, including $1 billion in state funding cuts, Friday.
That's been pushed back to Monday because of concerns about lawmakers traveling to Baton Rouge on still-thawing roads.
The presentation is a big deal at the Louisiana Capitol. It will be the first time anyone shows a roadmap for what $1 billion in cuts could look like.
Temporary taxes passed in 2016 are expiring when the new fiscal year starts July 1, and Edwards is required to present a budget that reflects the dollars available.
The governor's seeking replacement taxes to close the gap, but House Republican leaders haven't agreed so far.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are ramping up pressure on state lawmakers, seeking a decision on taxes rather than more months of financial uncertainty.
A $1 billion shortfall looms on July 1, when temporary sales taxes expire.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards wants a tax package passed in a February special session to replace the expiring revenue, but he's been unable to strike a deal with House Republican leaders.
Commissioner of Higher Education Joe Rallo says if that special session doesn't happen, colleges will have to plan for deep reductions that could persuade students to leave Louisiana.
Southern University System President Ray Belton and Louisiana State University System President F. King Alexander also are calling on lawmakers to resolve the gap quickly rather than waiting until right before the next budget year begins.