Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement upon the completion of a meeting with more than 20 business leaders from across Louisiana. Gov. Edwards convened the meeting to discuss opportunities for the state and business to join together to avoid the more than $1 billion fiscal cliff approaching on July 1, 2018.

“We have an obligation to the people of Louisiana to come together to avoid the fiscal cliff that is quickly approaching. My administration has been working to find a combination of spending cuts and revenue options that will stabilize our state for the long-term. To date, we have cut more than $600 million in spending and worked to make government more efficient. We are beginning to see signs that our economy is rebounding and unemployment is on the decline, but we have more work to do to sustain the recovery and build a strong foundation for future growth. 

“Today, I continued an ongoing conversation with business leaders from all across Louisiana about what we can do to provide long-term predictability and stability to our state’s budget and finances. Their input is critically important as these business leaders are on the front lines – creating jobs and working to build a strong economy. It’s their ideas, combined with the input from legislators and other community leaders that will, hopefully, guide us as we look for consensus to avoid the fiscal cliff. I appreciate these individuals taking the time to be engaged and offering constructive input in this process, and invite them to continue to offer advice and partner with my administration as we move forward."

The following business leaders attended the meeting:

Robert Boh    
Boh Brothers Construction Company, LLC
New Orleans, LA

Ayres Bradford          
Lincoln Builders, Inc.
Ruston, LA

Wayne Brown
Brown Builders
Bossier City, LA

Karl Connor   
BP America
New Orleans, LA

Calvin Fabre   
Baton Rouge, LA

Art Favre        
Performance Contractors
Baton Rouge, LA

Lester Hart     
Nucor Steel Louisiana, LLC
Convent, LA

Chris Haskew 
Capital One Bank
New Orleans, LA

Tom Hawkins 
Atmos Energy
Baton Rouge, LA

John Jones      
Monroe, LA

Christopher Kinsey    
Kinsey Interests
Shreveport, LA

James "Jay" Lapeyre, Jr.      
Laitram, LLC
Harahan, LA

Jude Melville  
Business First Bank
Baton Rouge, LA

Mickey Parenton        
L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, LA

Sonia Perez    
AT&T Louisiana
Baton Rouge, LA

Tim Poche      
Bernhard Capital Partners
Baton Rouge, LA

Phillip Rozeman         
Cardiovascular Consultants
Shreveport, LA

Margaret Shehee        
Kilpatrick Life Insurance
Shreveport, LA

Hans Sternberg
Highflyer Human Resources, LLC
Baton Rouge, LA

Terry Baugh
D&J Construction Company, Inc.
West Monroe, LA

Linda Biernacki
Fire Tech Systems, Inc.
Shreveport, LA