House committee passes amendment to fill $75M budget shortfall

House Appropriations Committee
House Appropriations Committee

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A House committee is doing some housekeeping at the Louisiana State Capitol by tweaking the budget, as shortfalls become apparent in the 2014 legislative session.

The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment Monday to plug a $75 million hole in this year's budget.

TOPS, the Minimal Foundation Program (MFP) and housing accounted for the lion's share of the shortfall. Kristi Nichols, Gov. Bobby Jindal's commissioner of administration, explained to the committee where the money was found to fill the hole.

Included in the state belt-tightening the Department of Transportation said it can reduce asphalt overlays from two inches to one.

"You feel comfortable all these reductions are doable and not going to cause any kind of problems, so we're not going to hear three weeks from now that the sky is falling and police can't give tickets and prisoners are running free and that's off the table," said state Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles.

"All of these recommendations have been fully vetted by the department and their secretaries and the savings estimates that will come with the final report have been vetted by their staffs as well, so everyone has bought off on these recommendations," Nichols said.

The amendment was tagged onto House Bill 1, which has not cleared appropriations just yet.

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