Louisiana legislature fails to finalize budget as special session ends

Third time's a charm? Gov. John Bel Edwards is certainly hoping that's the case after two special sessions in the past four months have collapsed with the House repeatedly rejecting legislation that would fill a looming budget gap with sales taxes to prevent deep cuts to state services.

"This was a sad night for the great people of our state," Edwards said early Tuesday morning after the second special session of the year collapsed in a chaotic frenzy in the House at midnight Monday. "You saw a minority in the House let politics take priority over people. Our state deserves better."

Edwards, a Democrat, said he'll call yet another special session later this month.

"It will be a short, concentrated special session," Edwards said, without providing details other than it will end "several days" before July 1.

By law, he's required to give seven days notice, so another session cannot begin before next week. Edwards said he's optimistic that the next one will end with approval for more revenue that that has evaded lawmakers in the past two.

"We have to do better, because this is not going to be the budget that carries us into next year," he said of the budget that the House gave final approval to on Monday. "It is unworthy of the people of Louisiana."



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