$56 million in budget gaps estimated for this year
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - As if lawmakers didn't have enough budget worries with next year's $1.6 billion shortfall, state senators learned this year's budget is short an estimated $56 million.
Sherry Phillips-Hymel, the Senate's chief budget analyst, gave the Senate Finance Committee a list Wednesday of outstanding financial gaps for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
On the list, the state's public school financing formula is short $36 million and the TOPS free college tuition program needs $5 million to cover a higher-than-projected number of students.
Also, Phillips-Hymel said the Medicaid program has $12 million less than needed to pay for expected services and sheriffs are owed $3 million more for housing state prisoners in local jails.
Lawmakers will consider ways to plug those holes during the legislative session.