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If viewing this story on a mobile device or in an email, click the link for additional features, including the full video of Gov. Edwards press conference after the special session ended - http://bit.ly/28UqgJK Debate over what to do with the money raised this session went well into the evening at the State Capitol as the session ended less than 30 minutes before the midnight deadline. Leaders from both the House and Senate met throughout the day to discuss the budget plan for how to distribute the $263 million raised during the second special session before passing the supplemental budget plan. Comment?
Louisiana lawmakers entered the final day of their special session on taxes Thursday with pending votes on how deeply they will cut health and education programs in the budget year that begins next month. No matter how they vote ahead of the midnight deadline, the House and Senate will fall far short of the revenue goal set by Gov. John Bel Edwards to raise $600 million more for the $26 billion budget that starts July 1. Lawmakers were ready to go home after 19 weeks of contentious work grappling with financial woes across three legislative sessions that heightened tensions between the House and Senate. Comment?
After sitting on dozens of tax bills for days, house members voted 73-25 to raise the state cigarette tax by 22 cents to $1.08 per pack. The bill by State Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, would raise $46 million a year, $16 million for the remainder of the current fiscal year that ends on June 30. "This excise tax will help stop the use of this product, while allowing us to raise some revenue in the process," Leger told house members. Comment?
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