Governor Edwards: Time is running out for legislators to close s - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Governor Edwards: Time is running out for legislators to close state's budget gap

Governor John Bel Edwards (Source: WAFB) Governor John Bel Edwards (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Louisiana legislators are wasting time and need to get busy, according to comments made by Gov. John Bel Edwards at a news conference Friday morning.

"I understand that in some years there's been talk about catastrophic cuts only to find a rabbit was pulled out of the hat," he said. "Well, we can't find the rabbit and we also cannot find the hat this year." 

Edwards singled out the House of Representatives, saying that any new revenue measures or tax increases have to start there. 

"To make matters worse the legislature has wasted multiple days this week when they should've been voting," he said. 

Legislators awoke to a larger $147 million gap to close this fiscal year because of a miscalculation in one of the sales tax collection bills. Edwards said there is still enough time to get things done, but lawmakers must act quickly. 

The governor told reporters that it is time for the legislators to either act on his plan or pass one of their own.

"I'm prepared to except the political scars that I’ll walk away from the special session with but what I'm not prepared to do, is not to do the people’s business so that they suffer tremendously because of inaction," Edwards said. 

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