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Special session called? 

Richard wants to review budget cuts

  State Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard, I-Thibodaux, plans to submit a formal petition this week calling for a special legislative session to review hundreds of millions in budget cuts recently proposed or enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

  In a phone interview with Gambit, Richard said the petition would likely go out Oct. 1.

  Last month, Richard sent an email to constituents and fellow legislators calling for the session. "Since our adjournment in June, there has been almost a billion dollars in reductions to the state budget without any input from the Legislature. And thanks to some media outlets we are now learning of still more cuts to healthcare without any input from the Legislature," the email reads.

  State law requires the signatures of one-third of the members of each house (35 representatives and 13 senators) for the petition to be considered and mailed out to all legislators.

  Richard said he was close to that mark. "I think we can get the 35 House members," he said. "We're kind of half and half sure that we're going to get the 13 in the Senate. But we're going to concentrate on the House first."

  For the session to convene, Richard will need to get a majority to sign the petition within 20 days of its release.

— CHARLES MALDONADO

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