The deadline to pass a budget is quickly approaching with a deadline of midnight tonight to pass a budget as part of the special session. On Sunday, lawmakers in the Senate sent what they call a compromised budget for approval in the house. State Senator Fred Mills joined Rob and Bernie on Acadiana's Morning News after a late night in Baton Rouge.

Governor John Bel Edwards' office sent a statement after passage of the bill in the Senate on Sunday. The debate has been centered on the renewal of a portion of an expiring sales tax. The budget passed over the weekend would renew half of that penny sales tax.

Here is the full statement from the Governor's office:

Today, we moved one step closer to avoiding catastrophic cuts to critical state services.  I want to thank the bipartisan group of senators who have worked across the aisle to build responsible consensus.  This is not an easy task.  Without replacing the revenue needed to fully fund our critical priorities at their current funding level, tough choices have to be made.  We have worked together to minimize the negative impact on the people of Louisiana, but make no mistake, deep cuts will still be imposed in some areas. However, these strategic spending cuts can be made in a more responsible way, while still reducing the tax burden on the people of Louisiana by more than $400 million.  I am confident that the legislature can get its work done in the time we have left together and continue to build on the momentum we are seeing in Louisiana.
According to the Governor's office, key points of the budget compromise:
  • A reduction of the tax burden on the people of Louisiana exceeding $400 million
  • Strategic spending cuts of more than $200 million
  • Fully funds higher education, TOPS and Go Grants
  • Funds the Louisiana Department of Health, including critical health care services for seniors, those with disabilities, partner hospitals, and medical schools in Shreveport and New Orleans
  • Funds a partial opening of the Acadiana Center for Youth in 2019

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