Saying "We have reached the end of the road where cuts alone will work to solve this problem," Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he will deliver a statewide address Feb. 11 about the Louisiana budget crisis, which is worse than than previous projections.
The state's Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) issued a forecast today saying Louisiana was facing an $850 million immediate deficit (up from a previously forecast $750 million) and a projected budget gap for the 2016-2017 fiscal year of $2 billion.
Greg Albrecht, the state's chief economist, told the REC this morning, "For all practical purposes, Louisiana is in its own recession, and it has come on pretty rapidly."
LaPolitics editor Jeremy Alford reported
Edwards and his team contacted television stations around the state last week asking for airtime for what would amount to a "State of the State" address, which was granted. Edwards will address Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Last month, Gambit
examined the state budget mess in a cover story, "Louisiana's Hangover."
Under the cut: Edwards' statement.
STATEMENT FROM GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS
“Louisiana faces an unprecedented budget challenge that, if left unresolved, will devastate state government as we know it and impose unimaginable cuts to higher education, health care and other vital services the state delivers to our citizens. This is a fiscal crisis, the likes of which we have never seen. We will come through this together, but we have reached the end of the road where cuts alone will work to solve this problem. We will need to work to find additional revenue to continue delivering the most basic of vital state services. I will address the people of Louisiana directly in a statewide televised address tomorrow evening, and will be asking for constructive engagement from every Louisiana citizen as we prepare to go into special session on Sunday.”