Governor, legislative leaders negotiate on ‘rainy day’ fund

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Opening day formalities behind them, lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards are trying to negotiate a deal to close Louisiana’s $304 million deficit.

The Democratic governor met Tuesday morning with top House and Senate leaders in closed-door talks, on the second day of a budget-rebalancing special session.

The central point of contention is whether to use Louisiana’s “rainy day” fund to help close the gap and if so, how much.

Edwards wants to use the full one-third available, nearly $120 million. Senate leaders support that approach. But House Republicans are reticent to tap the savings account.

Use of the rainy day fund requires a two-thirds legislative vote.

In the afternoon, the Senate Finance Committee considers the rainy day fund legislation, while the House Appropriations Committee starts sifting through cut proposals.

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