Governor Edwards calls a precautionary Special Session

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House leaders are talking confidently about reaching a budget deal to keep lawmakers out of a special session.

Steve Carter announced that he won't pursue the tax bill in the remaining days of the legislative session that ends June 8, saying he couldn't gather the 70 votes needed in the House for the effort to raise hundreds of millions annually for road and bridge work. "Make no mistake, this budget will still impose painful spending cuts, but it does so in a way that won't overly burden citizens of the state", he said in a statement Thursday afternoon. This is just in case they run out of time before the state's budget and a house construction financing bill is agreed upon.

A Senate panel took the wraps off their version of the state's budget. This plan has fewer cuts than members of the the House have called for. He said their actions were a "disservice to the people of Louisiana" and reneged on promises made in the last regular session to replace expiring revenue before the impending 2018-19 fiscal cliff that is predicted to create more than $1 billion shortfall in revenue.

"I'm struggling with fully funding TOPS at the expense of health care, especially mental health", Barrow said.

Ivey has been unable to gain the votes for much of his legislation in a majority-Republican House that has been reticent to support anything that tweaks state tax policy, particularly if it might raise new dollars for the treasury.

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According to Priebus, Dubke "will remain on board until a transition is concluded". He later added: "It's an ongoing conversation, and that's a fair way to put it".

Republicans and Democrats have been meeting privately to broker a compromise.

House Democrats, who are a minority in the chamber, stalled the construction bill as leverage to try to get more spending in the operating budget, more projects in the construction budget and more seats on the committees that craft the two bills.

"The House isn't going to go to zero, but as long as there is some cushion, I think there's a number that can be reached for a compromise", said Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, who serves as the vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. "We would sure like to avoid [a special session]", Alario told "We're working in the right direction".

Four items will be considered during this special session.

Special session parameters to be issued Wednesday will include debate over Louisiana's operating and construction budgets, but not taxes, according to information provided to The Associated Press by the governor's office.