Louisiana House speaker expects special session to close gap

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The leader of the Louisiana House says he doesn’t expect lawmakers to pass tax hikes this session to fill a looming, mid-2018 budget gap. Instead, Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras believes a special legislative session is inevitable to address the shortfall.

A more than $1 billion budget hole is projected when temporary sales taxes passed by the Legislature expire on June 30, 2018. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards wants lawmakers to pass tax measures to close the gap.

But Barras says tax hikes face heavy resistance from the public, which is why he says many House Republicans have been reticent to consider them this session.

The current legislative session that must end June 8 is the last regular session in which taxes can be considered before the 2018 revenue drop-off.

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