Gov. Edwards calls for special session to address budget shortfall

Gov. Edwards calls for special session

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards issued a call Friday for a 25-day special session of the Louisiana Legislature.

The special session will address the budget shortfall, which is the largest in Louisiana's history. The state is currently facing a $750 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year that ends on June 30. There is an addition $1.9 billion budget gap for the 2016-2017 fiscal year that law makers will need to fill.

There will be 36 different items that law makers can chose from to fill the budget gap. Those items include changing state, business, and personal taxes as well as spending cuts, cutting and eliminating state contracts, and using money from the "Rainy Day Fund" and non-coastal BP dollars. Raising cigarette and alcohol taxes is also an option among others.

The special session will start on Sunday, February. 14 and last no later than Wednesday, March 9.

The special session had to be called to address the budget crisis because, by law, taxes can't be handled in this year's regular session. The regular session will start on Monday, March 14 and it will end no later than Monday, June 6.

The following is the governor's call for the special session:

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