Committee approves Jindal's budget fix for $500M deficit

Committee approves Jindal's budget fix for $500M deficit

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Lawmakers have already started to defy Louisiana's next governor. Both candidates, John Bel Edwards and David Vitter asked them to reject Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to fix a mid-year, $500 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year. Despite some grumblings, the Joint Legislative Committee on Budget overwhelmingly passed the plan on Friday.

"This sounds real similar to what we've done for the last seven years," said Republican District 77 State Representative John Schroder. "The result at the end has not been good."

The Louisiana Division of Administration released a plan Wednesday aimed at fixing a mid-year, $500 million shortfall in the state's budget which calls for some cuts to state agencies but spares higher education.

Commissioner of Administration Kendall Palmieri said the plan would use money from the rainy day fund to protect Louisiana colleges and universities.

"I would say it is aligning your budget," she said. "If you budget for a mortgage and your car note and maybe a vacation and your revenues- your paycheck- goes down, you have to make changes and prioritize what you're going to spend in the current year and in the short-term and that's what we do on the state level as well, just on a much bigger scale."

Some departments will take large cuts, with the Department of Health and Hospitals seeing its budget slashed by $340 million. The constraints include taking $53.5 million from the Medical Assistance Trust Fund, which received tax revenues exceeding projections.

DOTD will also be slashed by $50 million.

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