For years, I traveled the state to share my vision for a more prosperous Louisiana. I assured you that, as governor, I would refocus our attention on priorities here at home by putting Louisiana first. Today, I still have that vision, and while it might not seem like it, Louisiana's brightest days are ahead of us.
Unfortunately, we're still dealing with a budget crisis that threatens our future and the future of our children. It took eight years to get us in this difficult position, and while we can't right this ship overnight, we're well on our way. After making some tough choices to stabilize our budget in the first special legislative session, we're still left with a $600 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.