‘Historic’ changes for Louisiana food stamp program as Gov. John Bel Edwards inks executive order _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK – On his 100th day in office, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards fields questions from callers during his first "Ask the Governor" radio show with Jim Engster at Louisiana Radio Network in Baton Rouge.

After three special sessions and two regular, the Louisiana Legislature could soon find itself back in session at the Capitol when the current session ends June 8.

"Every day it looks more and more likely that we'll have to have a special session," Edwards said during his monthly call-in radio show on Wednesday.

Lawmakers have just three weeks left in the session. Meanwhile, legislation meant to address the looming $1 billion "fiscal cliff" the state faces when a temporary sales tax hike ends in July 2018.

Edwards, a Democrat, put forth a series of revenue-generating proposals before the session started, but none have gained traction. The GOP-controlled House hasn't passed any major tax legislation this session.

Edwards said he feels like time is "slipping away."

"Quite frankly, I'm disappointed in how behind the Legislature is, particularly in the House," he told his radio listeners.

The state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is currently being vetted by the Senate. Edwards said that the House-backed budget plan, which would fund the state Department of Health about $436 million below its request, is a "nonstarter."

"It is a terribly irresponsible document," he said. "It lacks courage."

Tuesday marked the 14th episode of the governor's radio show. He fielded questions about state employees, water contamination issues, the state's flood recovery and transportation projects, among other topics.

Edwards, who previously served in the state House, was asked how he feels that politics has changed in the past decade.

"Not for the better in terms of the partisanship that we now see in Baton Rouge," said Edwards, who has frequently found himself at odds with the House Republican leadership. "We are not Washington yet, but we are headed that way, it appears to me."

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.