BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards called for the start of a special legislative session to address the state's pending $648 million budget shortfall during a news conference Monday afternoon in the Louisiana State Capitol.
The governor called on legislatures to fix the budget shortfall that would go into effect when the current fiscal year ends on June 30.
The regular session of the legislature could end as early as Friday and the special session would begin on Tuesday, May 22 and run through June 4.
Edwards said the budget would be devastating because it would deeply affect funding for the state's higher education and healthcare facilities.
Earlier Monday, Ewards' Chief of Administration, Jay Dardenne, said that "no one should be surprised" by the budget shortfall the state is facing.
"We have been talking about his and knowing about this since the temporary taxes were enacted 25-26 or so months ago," Dardenne said.
The temporary tax measures will expire June 30.
This will be the sixth special session Gov. Edwards has called since the start of his administration in January of 2016.