Gov. John Bel Edwards' chief budget adviser pushed back against criticism that the Democratic governor has been too quick to propose tax hikes to balance Louisiana's budget



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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Gov. John Bel Edwards' chief budget adviser pushed back against criticism that the Democratic governor has been too quick to propose tax hikes to balance Louisiana's budget.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, a Republican, said Monday that Louisiana's financial troubles are too deep to be corrected without raising new money.

Without new revenue, Dardenne told the Press Club of Baton Rouge, public colleges and health care services face dramatic reductions.

He says suggestions Louisiana can fix the problems only with cuts or by removing protections that shield some budget areas from reductions aren't realistic.

Dardenne says cutting more than $700 million from this year's budget and $1.9 billion in next year's budget would be a "doomsday scenario."

Edwards is proposing tax increases for a special legislative session later this month.

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