Louisiana’s 2018 legislative year began with one overriding objective: to solve a looming“fiscal cliff” caused by $1.4 billion in temporary tax revenue that was expiring on July 1. Raising enough revenue to avoid massive cuts to health care, education and public safety programs required three special sessions that culminated with the Legislature reaching a compromise that renewed 0.45 percent of the expiring 1-cent sales tax.

While the sales tax compromise failed to fix Louisiana’s structural tax problems, it will provide much-needed stability for the state’s revenue picture through 2025, and hopefully end the cycle of self-inflicted budget crises that have threatened the state’s ability to provide basic services such as food assistance, nursing home care and medical education.