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Committee of 100 members selected to meet with the Governor

Gov. John Bel Edwards is starting an outreach effort to solicit ideas for patching a more than $1 billion hole in next year’s state operating budget, meeting today with business leaders from around Louisiana to build support for a budget-balancing fix.

The closed-door gathering at the Louisiana Capitol is intended to be the first of several conversations with people who run businesses. Edwards is trying to drum up grassroots support for proposals to address the shortfall without devastating health and education programs.

“He wants the business community to stay involved as the process moves forward,” Edwards spokesman Richard Carbo says.

Combined with those talks, Edwards next week also will begin regional meetings with state lawmakers to discuss ways to offset the “fiscal cliff” that hits on July 1, 2018, when temporary taxes expire.

Tax ideas previously offered by the Democratic governor have failed to win support in the majority-Republican Legislature, nearly all the measures bottled up in the House, where most tax bills must start.

Any tax plans will require a special session, but Edwards says he won’t call one unless he can reach a consensus with House GOP leaders who were the primary roadblock to his previous proposals. The shortfall will be caused mainly by the loss of a 1% temporary sales tax hike enacted in 2016.

C100 CEO Michael Olivier stated  “The Committee has established a record on Fiscal Reform and we are pleased that the Governor has invited our members to be a part of the business leadership to discuss these matters.”
 
Baton Rouge Business Report excerpt.

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