The recent drop in gas prices is a direct result of falling crude oil prices. This has proved to be a good and bad thing for Louisiana families. The good is obvious. It doesn't cost nearly as much to fill up your car. The bad news is more complex.
Many Louisiana residents have their incomes directly tied to the petroleum industry. State government's income is also affected. For every dollar the price of oil drops, the state stands to lose $12 million. Some industry experts say that could lead to a near half a billion dollar revenue shortfall.
Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols admits she is concerned when comparing what the state is spending versus what it is bringing in. The Jindal administration is already in a belt tightening mode due to other revenue shortfalls. We ask state leaders to live within their means and cut spending wherever opportunities present themselves rather than simply returning to the old habit of automatically cutting higher education and healthcare - their usual targets.