BATON ROUGE - Tomorrow, Governor John Bel Edwards will make a special address to the citizens of Louisiana to discuss the historic budget shortfall facing the state ahead of a special session of the Louisiana Legislature. The special address will be aired statewide at 6:30 pm on all major network television and radio stations, as well as Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB).

"The challenges facing Louisiana are so severe, and the risk of doing nothing is so big, that it is important for me to outline these problems directly to the people," said Gov. Edwards. "I promised to be open and transparent with the people of Louisiana and give them the facts, and that's what I intend to do. There are some real consequences if we do not work together to solve the state's financial problems and I want to personally communicate them to the citizens of our state."

LPB will provide the pool feed for any media outlet interested in airing the governor's remarks. Please email govpress@la.gov if your station has not already indicated an interest in airing the speech.

Members of the media are invited to view the special address from monitors in the press room of the Governor's Office on the 4th Floor of the state capitol. Immediately following the special address, Gov. Edwards will hold a brief press availability to answer questions.

Gov. Edwards has called the legislature into a three-week special session beginning Sunday, Feb. 14. On Saturday, Feb. 13, Gov. Edwards' Administration will present the executive budget to the legislature.

The current budget gap, which must be filled by June 30, is an estimated $750 million. In addition, the budget gap for the next fiscal year that begins July 1 is estimated to be $1.9 billion, the largest deficit in Louisiana's history. The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) is set to meet today (Feb. 10) where these numbers are likely to grow.