Gov. John Bel Edwards is skeptical he can reach a deal with Louisiana House Republicans to fix the state’s billion-dollar budget deficit in time to call a special fiscal session and address the problem in February. The governor met with the House leadership, mostly Republicans, on Monday (Jan. 8) and appears to have come away from the meeting discouraged.

“At this point, I don’t see a lot of reason to be optimistic that we are going to have a plan that we can agree upon in time to have a special session in February, although I am going to continue to work toward that end,” Edwards said during his monthly call-in radio show Wednesday.

The state is staring at $1 billion worth of sales tax revenue falling off the books in  the next fiscal year, which begins in July. The House Republican leadership has said they can’t get good feedback about what legislators are willing to do to replace that money, unless the governor, a Democrat, provides a more detailed plan about what he wants to do to fix the shortfall…

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