The Latest: Edwards backs Senate budget-rebalancing plan

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The Latest on Louisiana’s budget-rebalancing special session (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the Senate’s proposal for closing Louisiana’s budget deficit.

Edwards spokesman Richard Carbo said Monday the governor believes the Senate “has passed an acceptable compromise.”

Edwards wanted to use nearly $120 million from the state’s “rainy day” fund to help fill the gap, other reserves and $60 million in cuts.

The House budget-rebalancing proposal would use $75 million from the rainy day account.

Edwards and senators say the $115 million in cuts required under the House proposal would be too deep, damaging security in state prisons, the rural hospitals and the education department.

The Senate rewrote the budget proposal to cut around $80 million and use $99 million in rainy day money.

Time is running short to reach a deal. The special session must end Wednesday.

___

10:30 a.m.

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate have staked out their positions, each drawing up proposals to close Louisiana’s $304 million deficit.

Now, the two sides have three days remaining in the budget-rebalancing special legislative session to reach a deal. The session must end Wednesday.

The central disagreement remains how deeply to cut state spending in the remaining four months of the budget year versus how much to tap into Louisiana’s “rainy day” fund.

Gov. John Bel Edwards wants the Legislature to use the full $119.6 million available.

The House backed a plan that would use nearly $75 million, with some Republicans resistant to using money from the savings account at all.

The version of the budget-rebalancing proposal backed by the Senate would use $99 million from the fund.

 

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