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Jindal budget seeks to avoid deep college cuts

1 year 7 months 4 weeks ago February 27, 2015 Feb 27, 2015 Friday, February 27 2015 February 27, 2015 7:54 AM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Melinda Deslatte

BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal will propose to scale back spending on tax credits and offer lawmakers money-generating ideas to keep colleges from facing deep, damaging cuts next year.

The governor's recommendations for closing a $1.6 billion gap in the fiscal year that begins July 1 will be presented to the Legislature's joint budget committee Friday. The Associated Press received a preview Thursday.

Jindal chief of staff Kyle Plotkin says the goal was to protect higher education.

The governor wants to stop the state from paying for tax credits above what a person or business owes in taxes, to save $526 million.

To offset the remaining college cuts, Jindal will offer a list of fee hikes and other spending changes that could drum up new cash for the budget without raising taxes.

Here's a detailed breakdown of Jindal's proposed budget:

-Cap a dozen refundable tax credits so the state doesn't pay more to businesses and individuals than they owe in tax liability, and redirect the savings to health care and higher education. Total: $526 million.

-Use piecemeal financing from a state surplus, tax amnesty program and other one-time sources of revenue. Total: $300 million.

-Budget cuts across state agencies. Total: $416 million.

-Use the recommendations of an outside consultant to shrink state spending through efficiencies, consolidations and other reductions. Total: $145 million.

-Don't provide funding for inflationary increases like state worker pay raises and medical inflation that are included in the shortfall calculation. Total: $160 million.

-Annualize savings from midyear budget cuts. Total: $36 million.

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