BATON ROUGE – Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a call for a special session of the Louisiana Legislature.

The special session will convene at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, and it must adjourn by midnight on Monday, June 4, 2018.  Gov. Edwards issued the call to address the $648 million budget shortfall recognized by the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC).

According to the House Fiscal Office, on June 30, 2018, $1.4 billion in revenue is expiring.  Gov. Edwards has proposed maintaining a portion, not all, of that revenue, resulting in a $400 million net tax cut for the people of Louisiana.

Gov. John Bel Edwards

“Both the House and Senate have now validated what we’ve been saying all along – you cannot fashion a budget that adequately funds our priorities without maintaining a portion of the revenue that is expiring,” said Gov. Edwards.  “I am not asking the legislature to raise any new revenue, but to maintain a portion of the revenue stream we have in place to ensure health care services for our seniors are restored, higher education, TOPS, and Go Grants are fully funded, and our medical schools can continue to train the next generation of physicians.  My proposal would result in a net tax cut of approximately $400 million.  This session will give us another opportunity to permanently address the budget challenges we face year after year, and I am optimistic we will get it done.”

A large number of the Louisiana House of Representatives issued a formal letter to Governor John Bel Edwards today, requesting that a state constitutional convention be included in any call for the special session.

The request states, “We must continue to pursue long term, structural reform of our finance and budget system,” and was signed by 51 members of the House. A constitutional convention has not been held since 1973.

To view the Governor’s proclamation for the special session call, please click here.