Barras, Edwards Meeting Wednesday

Gov. John Bel Edwards is calling it Louisiana’s “fiscal cliff,” and it’ll be the prime topic of conversation Wednesday when he meets with House Speaker Taylor Barras.

The so-called cliff represents a dramatic drop, scheduled for next year, when temporary taxes collide with sluggish tax revenue for an anticipated $1.5 billion shortfall, although the administration anticipates it will be less.

Edwards wants that massive sum addressed by the time the next fiscal year begins on July 1, 2018, but Republicans in the House, under Barras’ leadership, have been unwilling to embrace the governor’s tax and budget plans for the past 19 and a half months.

The governor is in the midst of a major push to reverse that tide and his meeting with Barras, confirmed by LaPolitics, is the second significant step taken thus far.

Last week Edwards met with roughly 20 business leaders from throughout the state, none of which were the heads of the traditional lobbies for business and industry. Instead, Edwards kicked off an outreach campaign that is making appeals directly to business owners and company executives.

Other meetings around Louisiana are already on the books or are being organized as well.

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