Special Session on Budget Deficit Update

By Kristen Dray | kdray@cajunfirst.com

Published 02/16 2017 05:25PM

Updated 02/16 2017 05:25PM

Louisiana is four days into the current special session. So far there have been a series of proposals and counter proposals that have to do with balancing the more than $300,000,000 budget.

The fight from the beginning has been whether or not to pull from the rainy day fund. 

It seems like the two opposing sides will be meeting half way. But, they have to sort it out because our constitution requires a balanced budget.

"They're all kind of under pressure." says Dr. Pearson Cross, the Associate Dean at UL's College of Liberal Arts.

10 days to figure out how to fix one of the worst budget deficits in the country.

"Usually everybody has to give a little and that's probably what going to happen this time." says Dr. Cross.

Dr. Cross says it's going to be a compromise bill. Conservatives are against using the rainy day fund but Cameron Henry a Republican state representative is showing leniency.

"Henry's willingness to use 75 million of the rainy day fund indicates that he is willing to give that much, he's not holding the hard line." Dr. Cross adds.

So now it's a matter of negotiation. There's going to be cuts but how big are those cuts going to be?

Even students at u-l seem to see both sides. "I think it is a rainy day and I think we do need to dip into it because I think we need to get back on our feet." says UL student, Alexandra Schouest. "Making cuts is a smart choice in certain areas. We've already made a lot of cuts as far as education goes in the past year due to the deficit that we have been in and that's definitely effecting a lot of students including myself." UL student, Cloie Leger adds.

Depending on how much is taken from the rainy day fund, Dr. Cross says those cuts may really rain on some companies across the state.

"With only 4 months left in the fiscal year, that means those cuts would fall on agencies that may not be prepared to face those cuts ." Dr. Cross concludes.

A final decision on fixing the budget deficit will be made next Wednesday when the special session ends. 

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