- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - All four major candidates in the Louisiana governor’s race say the state needs sweeping budget and tax changes. But their answers on how they’d do so are broad, and short on specifics. Here’s what the candidates have outlined so far:

SCOTT ANGELLE

-Calling at least one special session. Shortly after taking office, would call a session to focus on “comprehensive tax and budget reform.”

-Creating an Exemption Review Conference, in which economists do a cost-benefit analysis of the billions in tax exemptions, deductions, credits, refunds and rebates. Eliminating tax breaks that are deemed giveaways without a benefit to the state.

-Evaluating special budget protections given to certain agencies. Removing a dedication of $10 million a year for technology improvements at the state capitol.

-Streamlining sales tax collection across parishes.

-Prioritizing roadwork in the state’s construction budget process.

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JAY DARDENNE

-Calling two special sessions, one to focus on immediate budget gaps and another to work on the state’s tax structure.

-Eliminating tax breaks that are deemed giveaways without a benefit to the state.

-Shrinking spending on the governor’s office and the governor’s Division of Administration. Lowering salaries of top cabinet-level officials. Combining the Department of Veterans Affairs and Office of Elderly Affairs.

-Continuing the state’s cap on the film tax credit program, but with a reworked approach. Lessening a tax break given to the oil and gas industry for horizontal drilling.

-Putting cost controls on the TOPS free college tuition program.

-Prioritizing roadwork in the state’s construction budget process.

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JOHN BEL EDWARDS

-Calling two special sessions, one to focus on immediate budget gaps and another to work on the state’s tax structure.

-Eliminating tax breaks that are deemed giveaways without a benefit to the state. Requiring periodic reviews of tax breaks.

-Lowering income taxes by getting rid of tax breaks that allow people to take deductions for federal income taxes paid and for certain itemized expenses.

-Capping every tax break to ensure the state knows how much it will spend on the programs each year. Lessening a tax break given to the oil and gas industry for horizontal drilling.

-Prioritizing roadwork in the state’s construction budget process.

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DAVID VITTER

-Calling a special legislative session immediately after taking office, to focus on “fundamental spending and tax reform” and to address short-term budget gaps.

-Eliminating tax breaks that are deemed giveaways without a benefit to the state. Requiring periodic reviews of tax breaks. Requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve new tax breaks.

-Evaluating special budget protections given to certain agencies, to open up most restricted funds and remove protections, to allow for more prioritization of spending.

-Reducing the number of state cars and state consulting contracts. Working to eliminate wasteful and fraudulent spending in state agencies.

-Passing targeted tax rate cuts to spur economic growth.

-Streamlining sales tax collections across parishes.

-Prioritizing roadwork in the state’s construction budget process.

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