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Opinion: Wayne Brown (Guest Columnist) – Governor has the right plan for our budget

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Governor has the right plan for our budget

Eight years of irresponsible budgeting has left our state with an historic budget deficit: $940 million to be corrected by June 30, 2016 and a $2 billion projected deficit in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016. Governor Edwards has called legislators into a special legislative session in order to resolve this crisis, one recognized by the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) and leading state economists.
Governor Edwards and Commissioner Jay Dardenne have done the difficult work of reviewing the numbers to expose the true financial position in which we stand – and how we got here. This is the kind of down-to-business leadership that our state has sorely needed. I am grateful for a governor who is charting a path for us through the mess he inherited upon taking office.
The governor has put forward a detailed plan to fix the deficits for this year and next. It’s not a painless plan. But those of us who battle in private business each day know that rarely are the best long-term solutions without sacrifice. He is proposing a strategic combination of unwanted but necessary cuts and revenue-raising measures that will balance the two budget deficits we face this year and next. In fact, the governor’s plan actually includes more spending cuts and alternative funding sources than it does requests for new tax revenue.
Governor Edwards has extended an invitation to legislators, community leaders, and citizens alike to join him in solving this problem. He stands ready to listen. After all, we face this problem as Louisianans together and we should solve it together.
Please call your state senator and representative. Ask them to work with Governor Edwards to find the right mix of cuts and revenue to stabilize our budget so that we don’t have to relive this crisis year after year.

B. Wayne Brown is CEO of Brown Builders in Bossier City (a company which he founded and served as President from 1971-2012). He currently serves as Chairman of The Board for the Committee of 100 and has been selected by Gov. John Bel Edwards to serve on the Governor’s Fiscal Matters Committee.