Sen. Bernard anticipates extra session

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By Times Staff

State Senator Louie Bernard and his fellow legislators are facing what many are calling an “impossible” task in Baton Rouge as they face an immediate $123 million need to make next year’s state budget work. That process is going to require some significant cuts to state services but it’s the following year when they will face a $1 billion gap between current funding and next year funding projections.

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“If you would have told me that at this point we would have only had five or six days of work in this session, I never would have believed you,” Bernard said Tuesday morning from Baton Rouge.

The State Legislature is technically in week 10 of their 14-week session, but actually have only been in session about a week. The COVID virus is forcing lawmakers to complete a state budget by June 1. They are required to submit a balanced budget to the governor by the end of the session. Bernard said state law mandates the session must end by June 1.

He added, “It’s almost an impossibility to get a budget done that fast.”

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