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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Edwards plans rare TV speech to talk budget woes, tax hikes

Edwards plans rare TV speech to talk budget woes, tax hikes

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is taking his case for taxes directly to Louisiana's residents.
The Democratic governor is asking lawmakers to raise taxes to help balance Louisiana's deficit-riddled budget in a special legislative session to begin Sunday. Ahead of that session, Edwards plans a Thursday night "special address to the citizens of Louisiana."

The governor's speech will be aired at 6:30 p.m. on Louisiana Public Broadcasting and on major television and radio stations around Louisiana.

In a statement, Edwards said the state's financial troubles are so severe that he's decided he needed the rare televised speech to outline the problems to Louisiana's people.

This year's budget gap is estimated at around $850 million. The budget must be rebalanced by June 30. Next year's shortfall tops $2 billion.

After Edwards' office announced the speech, the Republican Party of Louisiana sent letters Wednesday to TV and radio stations that will be airing the address, calling for them to allow time for a GOP response.

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