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Jindal administration releases mid-year cuts

1 year 8 months 2 weeks ago February 06, 2015 Feb 6, 2015 Friday, February 06 2015 February 06, 2015 10:54 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones, Mark Armstrong

BATON ROUGE - The Jindal administration released their plans Friday to deal with a mid-year budget deficit of more than $103 million.

The plan calls for $60.66 million in cuts from state agencies and includes $42.84 million in "revenue opportunities," mostly stopgap spending from state trust funds and one-time sources of cash. 

DHH and DOTD took the biggest cuts, at $13 million and $16.6 million respectively. $11.1 million will be spent from excess Department of Revenue funds, as well as the last $9 million from the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly.

The Lt. Governor is expected to layoff 111 state workers by the end of the month, most of them from state parks. Evective immediately, librarys, parks, and historic sites have reduced their hours of operation, and in some cases closed all together.

The gap comes after lawmakers lowered the projected revenue collection for the state for $103.5 million for the current fiscal year and $203.8 million for the 2016 fiscal year. It must be closed by the end of the current fiscal year, which is June 30.

"This plan includes strategic reductions that not only balance the current year budget, but put us in a position to create continued savings next year," said Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols.

The mid-year cuts do not include any higher education reductions, a concern among university leadership who said they were notified to prepare for between $300 and 400 million in cuts for the next fiscal year when the state faces an overall projected $1.6 billion revenue shortfall.

The proposed mid-year cuts will be presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget on Feb. 20. For a specific breakdown, click here.

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