Lawmakers back Jindal plan to close $170M deficit
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use a mix of patchwork financing and modest cuts to close a budget deficit of more than $170 million.
The House and Senate budget committees backed the proposal without objection Thursday, only days before the budget had to be rebalanced to avoid a special session.
Minor changes were made to the Jindal administration plan submitted last month. Financing sources were swapped. Agriculture department job cuts were scrapped. A cut to road maintenance work was eliminated.
About $37 million in cuts will be made, mainly by not filling vacant jobs, reducing contracts and spending fewer dollars on travel and supplies. The rest of the gap will be filled with excess funds, like dollars from a tax amnesty program and insurance settlement.