No midyear deficit, so Edwards administration releases $60M
BATON ROUGE (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is allowing Louisiana agencies to spend $60 million that had been withheld amid concerns state income projections may come up short.
Instead, the state collected more money than expected, so Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told lawmakers Wednesday the proposed cuts to safety-net hospitals, public colleges and other areas won't be necessary.
Republican Rep. Cameron Henry, chairman of the Legislature's joint budget committee, questioned the release of the money to agencies.
Henry says if departments reduced spending this year, that could help lessen a hefty budget shortfall Louisiana faces in the financial year that begins July 1.
Democratic Rep. Walt Leger says lawmakers expected the Edwards administration to release the money if the state brought in enough revenue to cover the expenses in the budget.
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