Budget relies on nearly $1B in piecemeal funding
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration have patched their way through another budget year, assembling a $24.6 billion budget that relies on nearly $1 billion in piecemeal financing.
Spending increases for health care services, public colleges and other favored programs muffled most criticism for the 2014-15 spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
But with the continued use of money from loan repayments, trust funds and pharmaceutical settlements that are one-time financing sources, the governor and lawmakers gave themselves a headache for next year.
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Office says $991 million used in next year's budget won't be available the following year. That means when lawmakers return for their 2015 legislative session, they'll start off in a hole, trying to scrape together dollars to fill gaps.