By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers should know soon if they are returning to the state Capitol after the Mardi Gras holiday to debate replacing $1 billion in expiring taxes, to avoid deep budget cuts.
Gov. John Bel Edwards set Friday as the deadline in negotiations with lawmakers over whether Louisiana will have a special session later this month on taxes.
The Democratic governor said he needs to call the session by Friday so lawmakers have enough time to debate taxes before the regular session begins in mid-March, when next year's budget is crafted.
The target for starting the special session is Feb. 19.
Edwards is meeting Friday with Senate President John Alario and House Speaker Taylor Barras to discuss tax ideas. He's expected to announce his special session decision after that meeting.
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