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SPECIAL SESSION UPDATE: Senate Finance meeting cancelled

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SPECIAL SESSION UPDATE:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Mike Hall, R-Putnam, has cancelled this morning's committee meeting, which was going to take up a 1 percent increase in the sales tax.

"There's just several issues relative to the whole process. ... We thought we had a possible outcome that might be good," Hall said.

One issue is that Senate Minortiy Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, wants some Republican caucus support for the 1 percent sales tax increase, Hall said.

Hall told reporters he wants legislators to focus seriously on the $360 to $380 million budget hole that will be facing the next governor (in fiscal year 2018) if new revenue is not raised. Lawmakers will have to answer tough questions from constituents back home if they are willing to allow that type of budget hole to grow.