Friday Is New Deadline In Louisiana Budget, Tax Negotiations

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Friday is the latest deadline in negotiations over whether Louisiana will have a special legislative session on taxes to close a $1 billion budget gap.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says he needs to call the session by Friday so lawmakers have enough time to debate taxes before the regular session begins March 12.

The target for starting the special session is Feb. 19. The governor expects it would run about two-and-a-half weeks.

But first, Edwards will decide if he has enough buy-in on taxes from House Republicans.

He doesn't want to call a special session to close the budget gap caused by expiring taxes unless he reaches agreement with House GOP leaders who blocked previous tax proposals.

Edwards said Tuesday he's made progress in negotiations with House Speaker Taylor Barras.

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