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Gov Edwards Budget Proposal Aims At Education and Infrastructure Fixes

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Louisiana Governor's Facebook

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL— For years Louisiana lawmakers have fought over budget proposals stymied by looming deficits. This resulted in a lot of projects on everyone's “wish lists” getting postponed, things like investing in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and so on. Yesterday Gov. John Bel Edwards laid out a budget proposal to address some of those items including a raise for public school teachers of at least $1,500 a year. Edwards outlined his upcoming proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1st during a news conference Monday at the Capitol.

"My proposal includes more than $1.1 billion in funding for new critical infrastructure including $500 million for a new Mississippi River bridge here in Baton Rouge, $100 million for the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, and $500 million for water and sewer improvements statewide," Edwards said.

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From File Photos

Edwards prefaced his comments with a brief summary of Louisiana’s budget history when state budget shortfalls ranged from one to two billion dollars just a few short years ago. Now, Louisiana is expected to get roughly $10.9 billion in state general tax dollars for the fiscal year that begins July 1, that’s $800 million more in recurring revenues than was available to lawmakers during last year’s legislative session. Between unspent federal pandemic aid and better-than-expected tax collections over the past year-and-half, the governor and state Legislature will have close to $2.7 billion in one-time funding available which Edwards said could be a game-changer for the state’s list of needs.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity, maybe once in a lifetime opportunity, in some respects, to move our state forward,” Edwards said.

Louisiana Lawmakers will return to Baton Rouge on March 14 to kick off the regular legislative session.