January 29, 2015 12:44 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has pushed back to mid-February the release of its proposal to close a $103 million budget deficit. Jindal administration spokeswoman Meghan Parrish said Thursday that the proposal to rebalance this year's $25 billion budget will be presented to lawmakers at a Feb. 20... more »
January 27, 2015 6:47 PM
LAFAYETTE- Big cuts are on the way for higher education, but Governor Bobby Jindal isn't saying much about what those cuts will look like.
"It's too early to speculate," said Jindal, "certainly the agencies are looking for every opportunity to be more efficient. Everything's on the table."
Tuesday... more »
January 16, 2015 6:38 PM
BATON ROUGE- State lawmakers are bracing for a hard hitting budget proposal from Governor Jindal's office next month. With an estimated $1.5 billion dollar hole in next years budget, legislators are left with some tough decisions.
The governor already put higher-education on the chopping-block, proposing up to $300 million... more »
January 16, 2015 6:23 PM
BAKER - City officials met to discuss possible ways to help Baker's budget Friday.
The two biggest options looked at were an increase in property taxes and an increase in sales taxes.
Right now the current sales tax is 9.5 percent. The maximum the city can charge in... more »
January 16, 2015 11:31 AM
BATON ROUGE - Facing a deep budget deficit due to plunging oil prices, lawmakers on the state's joint budget committee approved a 20 percent raise for Louisiana State Police Friday.
The vote was 37-8 in favor of the raise, which will affect almost 1,000 troopers starting Monday. It's short... more »
January 16, 2015 3:38 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. - Lawmakers are questioning plans for a nearly $15 million pay raise for state police as Louisiana grapples with deep financial problems. The raise is up for consideration Friday by the joint House and Senate budget committee. Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, says... more »
January 15, 2015 11:05 AM
BATON ROUGE - U.S. Sen. David Vitter says if he's elected governor this fall, he'd immediately call a special legislative session to address Louisiana's ongoing budget problems. The session, according to Thursday's announcement, would focus on: removing budget protections that leave public colleges and health services more vulnerable to cuts,... more »
January 14, 2015 4:26 PM
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Secretary of State's office said Wednesday that a proposed $3.8 million mid-year budget cut from the Jindal administration could force them to furlough employees starting as early as next week.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler said he's been given until Friday to figure out... more »
January 13, 2015 10:19 PM
BAKER - For the third time Tuesday night, the Baker City Council voted down a proposal to raise water and sewer rates to off-set a budget deficit.
Nearly a dozen residents spoke on the issue; some said they were concerned about how the money would be spent if the... more »
January 7, 2015 1:24 PM
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policy-makers discussed various risks to the U.S. economy at their December meeting but concluded that the big drop in oil prices was likely to end up boosting growth. Minutes of the Fed's Dec. 16-17 meeting show that Fed officials believed weakness in the global economy posed... more »
January 6, 2015 4:15 PM
BATON ROUGE - A state lawmaker from the Houma area wants his colleagues to convene a special legislative session to tackle Louisiana's continuing budget problems. Republican Rep. Joe Harrison sent a petition Tuesday to House and Senate members, asking for support to call a 14-day special session starting March 30.... more »
December 19, 2014 1:25 PM
BATON ROUGE - A budget analysis for the proposed city of St. George commissioned by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Chamber says recent annexations have taken a $30 million chunk out of the proposed city's plans.
The analysis from accounting firm Faulk and Winkler said they were asked... more »
December 18, 2014 10:56 PM
BATON ROUGE- A price war between competing stations helped the price for a gallon of regular gasoline drop to $1.77 Thursday. This made it the second-lowest in the country.
The only other city where a store was selling cheaper gas Thursday was in Oklahoma City for $1.68.
Costco... more »
December 16, 2014 5:20 PM
BATON ROUGE - For consumers and business owners falling gas prices mean more money in the bank, but the state's budget could take a hit.
Local businesses like Billy Heroman's Flowers are benefiting from cheap gas prices. The florists deliver around 200 bouquets each day around Christmas using 35... more »
December 16, 2014 1:05 PM
BATON ROUGE - A school funding task force is suggesting a $75 million boost in state aid for public schools next year, if dollars can be found to pay for it. It goes next for consideration to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which must forward a 2015-16... more »
December 15, 2014 2:36 PM
BATON ROUGE - The Legislature's chief economist says state officials need to look at Louisiana's long list of tax breaks as spending programs that siphon dollars away from the budget. Louisiana has $7 billion in various tax credits, rebates and deductions. Greg Albrecht said Monday that the programs take money... more »
December 12, 2014 12:57 PM
WASHINGTON - The incoming Republican chairman of the House Budget committee says he's going to draft a fiscal blueprint to balance the budget in 10 years and call for transforming Medicare into a system that places future retirees in private health insurance plans - much like outgoing chairman Paul Ryan... more »
December 12, 2014 3:03 AM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration intends to sell 709 state vehicles at auction early next year as a cost-cutting move. Ruth Johnson, deputy commissioner of administration, said Thursday the vehicles aren't being used enough to justify the continued maintenance costs. In a statement, the governor's Division of Administration... more »
December 9, 2014 9:32 PM
BATON ROUGE- City leaders approved the mayor's $830 million spending plan for 2015 which will include two police academies to train as many as sixty new police officers.
The budget was approved Tuesday evening. The Metro Council made no changes to the plan but did voice some concern about... more »
December 8, 2014 11:17 AM
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal's Division of Administration told lawmakers Monday the state was on track to save $75 million out of the General Fund for the 2015 fiscal year.
State legislators learned nine departments got recommendations from an outside consultant group known as Alvarez and Marsal. The... more »
November 26, 2014 10:09 AM
BATON ROUGE - By lessening the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration gave itself and school boards a new budget headache. The administration's latest plan for the Office of Group Benefits is scheduled to take effect March 1. It reduced... more »
November 21, 2014 3:06 AM
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal's administration plans to use a combination of hiring freezes, open position cuts and extra funds such as TOPS money to fill a $180 million gap in the state's budget.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said the plan reduces costs across state agencies while... more »
November 20, 2014 2:53 PM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's latest amnesty program for delinquent taxpayers is expected to bring in $169 million. That's more than lawmakers included in this year's budget, but not enough to close a midyear deficit that has emerged since then. The Department of Revenue announced the tax amnesty program's projected haul... more »
November 18, 2014 2:58 PM
BATON ROUGE- Gov. Bobby Jindal will unveil his proposal Friday to rebalance this year's budget, which contains a $171 million hole. The Jindal administration announced Tuesday that it will present its deficit-closing plan to lawmakers within three days, rather than take the full month available to devise its strategy. Despite... more »
November 17, 2014 5:41 PM
BATON ROUGE- A new class of officers graduated on Monday while the Baton Rouge police department battle a potential personnel shortage.
The Baton Rouge Police department 80th Basic Training Academy held a commencement ceremony for 34 new police trainees at the Independence Park Theatre.
"I like to stand... more »
November 14, 2014 6:21 PM
BATON ROUGE - After the state's Revenue Estimating Committee decided to trim back cash flow forecasts for the fiscal year, Treasurer John Kennedy warned Governor Jindal could take an axe to higher education to make up the difference.
"Let me be blunt, they're gonna gut LSU and Southern and... more »
November 14, 2014 1:46 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal will need to slash state spending to keep this year's $25 billion budget balanced, as plummeting oil prices helped hammer Louisiana's revenue picture. The state's income forecasting panel, known as the Revenue Estimating Conference, on Friday dropped projections of revenue for this year by... more »
November 10, 2014 10:19 PM
GONZALES - Although the council passed the city's capital outlay budget Monday night, the tension remains over a series of other issues.
There are two different attorneys representing the city of Gonzales and some of the councilmen and they're racking up a hefty bill. Fees for attorney Robert Barnett,... more »
November 10, 2014 8:09 AM
BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council members have been flipping through the mayor's proposed budget that they will vote on next month. But some say the key missing element is an across-the-board pay raise for city workers. Mayor-President Kip Holden officially unveiled his proposed 2015 budget last... more »
November 6, 2014 3:28 PM
BATON ROUGE - Balancing Louisiana's budget could be trickier for state lawmakers and the governor. Voters agreed in this week's election to two constitutional amendments that will make it more difficult to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid funding from hospitals and nursing homes. A minimum payment level... more »
October 27, 2014 10:48 PM
GONZALES- A long-standing fight over funding for new crime-fighting tools continues here.
Monday night, the traditional three-member voting bloc disagreed with providing money for crime cameras and motorcycles for the police department. However, the group suggested providing money to pay for new police cars. Still, it was not enough... more »
October 24, 2014 4:22 PM
BATON ROUGE - A dispute over whether Louisiana ended last year with a budget surplus threatens to delay borrowing needed to keep state construction work on track. Treasurer John Kennedy said Friday he won't sign financial documents needed for the $200 million in borrowing until he believes they accurately depict... more »
October 17, 2014 6:28 PM
BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers have decided to put the budget numbers in the hands of the auditors after taking no action at the joint budget committee meeting Friday.
Whether the state ended its year with a budget surplus or deficit depends is unresolved, so the committee decided to... more »
October 16, 2014 11:21 AM
BATON ROUGE - Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit? Seems like an easy-to-answer question, a comparison of state expenses against revenues. But the Jindal administration's claims of a $179 million surplus have run into skepticism. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says the administration... more »
October 13, 2014 10:32 PM
GONZALES - A bizarre turn of events may lead Police Chief Sherman Jackson to more money than he asked for.
After months of back and forth and three vetoes over budget issues, some people had a hard time understanding what happened at a city council meeting Monday night.
... more »
October 13, 2014 3:20 PM
BATON ROUGE - Treasurer John Kennedy says updates with the state's credit rating agencies were delayed because of questions about whether Louisiana ended its last budget year with a surplus or a deficit. Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, says the state closed its books with a $179... more »
October 11, 2014 11:04 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration reported a $178.5 million budget surplus for the state fiscal year that ended June 30. However, legislative financial advisers are questioning the new method used to produce the surplus figure. And state Treasurer John Kennedy said Friday that if the traditional methodology... more »
September 29, 2014 3:31 AM
FORT POLK - Once more, Fort Polk has drawn more support than any other base facing potential cuts. Fort Polk Progress, a nonprofit created to advocate for the base, says Army Environmental Command got more than 111,200 comments from 30 communities nationwide - and 34,619 were against cuts at Fort... more »
September 22, 2014 8:35 PM
GONZALES- The city council will attempt to pass a budget the mayor will approve since the group did not override his veto of the most recent capital outlay spending plan .
In two weeks, the council will likely draft another version. It will be the fourth try at getting... more »
September 9, 2014 6:17 PM
GONZALES - A day after the council decided to amend the budget for a third time, cutting out funding to the police department, Chief of Police Sherman Jackson defended his request for more than $400,000.
"I think they're out of touch, one of them asked me if I think... more »
September 8, 2014 8:44 PM
GONZALES- Mayor Barney Arceneaux said he will likely use all ten days of his decision-making time frame to decide if he will veto the latest budget passed by the Gonzales City Council Monday evening.
Similar to the last budget , which he vetoed, the one approved in a three... more »
September 8, 2014 2:39 PM
BATON ROUGE - Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, seeking to move into Louisiana's highest office, says the state needs to re-examine tax breaks as a way to raise money for the budget and to seriously consider whether to expand Medicaid. Those positions outlined by Dardenne, running for governor in the... more »
August 26, 2014 12:10 PM
BATON ROUGE - The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but with a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work. To fill gaps in the budget that ended June 30, the treasury had to dip into dollars slated to pay for state agency... more »
August 25, 2014 9:53 PM
GONZALES - The political drama in Gonzales is as hot as ever and it seemed to boil Monday night.
People in the audience chanted "recall, recall, recall," ahead of their exit from the council chambers. Two councilmen, Gary Lacombe and Timothy Vessel, were the focus of their outcry.
... more »
August 14, 2014 11:50 AM
BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers have gotten their first glimpse of next year's budget gap that they'll have to close, and it's another hefty shortfall: $1.2 billion. The grim news was delivered Thursday to the joint legislative budget committee. It barely raised eyebrows at the committee hearing, after more than... more »
August 10, 2014 11:01 AM
GONZALES - A new round in the City Council's budget impasse with Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux is set for Monday when council members are expected to vote on overriding the mayor's second veto. If the council overrides the mayor's latest veto, the matter ends with the council budget going into... more »
July 21, 2014 3:49 PM
BAKER - Baker council members will consider hiring a collection agency Tuesday to go after people who owe money for outstanding warrants.
Faced with budget cuts to break even, council members will also consider a collection fee of up to 30 percent. Councilman John Givens says Baker has more... more »
July 16, 2014 3:15 PM
WASHINGTON - The GOP-controlled House has passed a $22 billion measure that would slash budgets for enforcing tax laws and new financial regulations, and a healthy food initiative that's a pet cause of first lady Michelle Obama. The bill passed Wednesday on a nearly party-line 228-195 vote. Companion legislation has... more »
July 14, 2014 10:10 PM
GONZALES - The city council met to vote on a second budget proposal Monday evening but a vote won't take place for another two weeks since two amendments were made and accepted dealing with the spending plan.
The amendments were passed by the same 3:2 vote and create a... more »
July 14, 2014 11:08 AM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is leasing away the rights to a state-owned parking garage and its annual income stream for $2 million. The deal appears to have the state taking a loss for upfront cash to balance Louisiana's budget. The 91-year lease will generate less money than... more »
June 26, 2014 11:48 AM
BATON ROUGE - More than $134 million in piecemeal funding used to balance this year's budget has yet to arrive in the state treasury, with the end of the fiscal year only days away. The dollars are largely supposed to come from hospital lease payments, property sales and hurricane recovery... more »
June 23, 2014 9:47 PM
GONZALES - The city council accepted a second budget proposal Monday evening after Mayor Barney Arceneaux vetoed the original last month.
Arceneaux did not support amendments that were made by the council. The mayor warned when submitting another proposal, he will likely veto the budget again if the council... more »
June 17, 2014 4:47 PM
GONZALES- Teachers and staff in Ascension Parish schools received a 3 percent pay raise as part of a $219 million dollar budget that passed Tuesday evening.
The budget includes a permanent pay raise, which hasn't happened in nearly six years.
"Of course you always appreciate the money, but... more »
June 13, 2014 10:22 AM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers have given Gov. Bobby Jindal all the power to choose among their favored projects in next year's construction budget. They packed the bill so it contains $389 million more than the state has money to spend, leaving the governor to pick and choose which water system... more »
June 13, 2014 7:18 AM
PORT ALLEN - The West Baton Rouge Parish Council has adopted a $1.4 million half-year budget for the newly consolidated parish-wide fire department. Parish Financial Officer Phillip Bourgoyne says the budget, which takes effect July 1, sets aside $422,000 in salaries for 19 firefighters and $50,000 for overtime contingencies. The... more »
June 4, 2014 2:33 PM
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... more »
June 3, 2014 1:03 PM
BATON ROUGE - The contractor hired by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to find ways to save the state money has turned in its 425-page report, which outlines $2.7 billion in savings ideas over five years. Recommendations from Alvarez & Marsal include restructuring management, selling property, consolidating offices and cutting insurance... more »
June 3, 2014 10:34 AM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers approved a $24.6 billion budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
It will increase spending on services for the disabled, higher education and public schools, and give pay raises to rank-and-file state workers and state troopers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal can strip... more »
May 30, 2014 10:16 PM
BAKER - Baker police officers have applied for new jobs with citywide budget cuts possibly coming soon.
Two full-time patrol officers have already been cut from the Baker Police Department, and Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps believes more cuts are on the horizon. The department's questionable future has some... more »
May 30, 2014 4:47 PM
BATON ROUGE - A $3.6 billion financing plan to pay for Louisiana's public schools next year has received final legislative passage with a 95-2 House vote. The school formula for the 2014-15 school year was written by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. It will increase spending for... more »
May 30, 2014 10:12 AM
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House has given final passage to a $24.6 billion budget to finance state government operations next year, agreeing to the version written by the Senate. A 75-22 vote Friday sends the spending plan to Gov. Bobby Jindal. The governor can strip individual items he doesn't... more »
May 29, 2014 3:54 PM
BATON ROUGE - Senators have sent the House a more than $5.9 billion, multiyear state construction budget plumped up with so many Senate add-ons that it contains $400 million more in projects than the state can afford. Louisiana has a cap on annual borrowing that limits spending on construction projects... more »
May 29, 2014 4:12 AM
BATON ROUGE - Senators have approved a nearly $25 billion budget to finance state government operations and services next year. The spending plan includes new spending on health care and education programs. Rank-and-file state workers would get a pay raise, but would also face new premium hikes for health insurance.... more »
May 28, 2014 1:06 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser said she hopes to give lawmakers a copy of the final money-savings recommendations from consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal by Friday. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols provided an update to the House and Governmental Committee on Wednesday about the work done... more »
May 27, 2014 11:10 PM
GONZALES- The city council failed to override the mayor's veto of the budget Tuesday night.
"It was expected," councilman Terance Irvin said. "We understood that we could not overturn the veto because we only had three votes against two and it took a majority to overturn."
Mayor Barney... more »
May 27, 2014 9:05 AM
BATON ROUGE - Sen. Eddie Lambert (R-Gonzales) stopped by 2une In Tuesday to talk about the final week of the legislation, particularly the battle over the budget. Check out the video for more information. more »
May 26, 2014 3:35 PM
BATON ROUGE - Senators came in for late-afternoon Memorial Day meetings to work on rebalancing this year's budget and clearing out some less controversial bills as Louisiana's legislative session enters its final week. The Senate Finance Committee spent Monday making changes to this year's $25 billion budget, passing a bill... more »
May 23, 2014 2:00 PM
BATON ROUGE - Parents, disabled persons and other members of the public got their turn to outline spending priorities to senators considering how to craft Louisiana's $25 billion operating budget for next year. Most of the requests Friday to the Finance Committee sought support for disabled health care services. Parents... more »
May 21, 2014 11:30 AM
GONZALES - Mayor Barney Arceneaux announced Wednesday that he'd vetoed the budget recently passed by the Gonzales City Council.
"it is irresponsible and reckless to cut needed equipment from both the police department and the fire department, which directly affect the safety, health and welfare of our citizens, in... more »
May 20, 2014 1:03 PM
BATON ROUGE - An effort to rebalance this year's $25 billion budget, to fill $75 million in gaps in education and prison programs, began advancing Tuesday in the Louisiana Legislature. The House Appropriations Committee agreed without objection to the budget-balancing proposal (House Bill 1094), sending it to the full House... more »
May 19, 2014 5:16 PM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers have another $65 million to add to next year's budget, after the state's income forecasting panel revised its tax collection estimates. But members of the Revenue Estimating Conference refused Monday to go along with a push from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to increase the forecast by... more »
May 16, 2014 2:32 PM
BATON ROUGE - State senators are questioning whether Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration can deliver the $74 million in savings it is promising from the ideas of an outside consultant. Members of the Senate Finance Committee bristled Friday at some suggestions from consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal, like plans to close... more »
May 16, 2014 10:57 AM
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's budget for next year doesn't include any money for the state's ongoing litigation against BP for damages caused by the 2010 oil spill. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is asking lawmakers to add $15 million to the 2014-15 spending plans to continue the casework. Without it, Caldwell's... more »
May 15, 2014 10:57 PM
BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is preparing for a round of budget cuts after recently announcing it is on track to spend nearly $29 million more than the amount of revenue it is expected to generate in the next year.
Superintendent Bernard Taylor says... more »
May 9, 2014 2:42 PM
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization deal for the LSU hospital in Lafayette was running $6 million over budget by April's end, with two months remaining in the fiscal year. The overspending was detailed in an update to lawmakers about payments made for the outsourcing contracts involving nine state-owned,... more »
May 8, 2014 8:04 AM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the Louisiana House have backed a $25 billion budget for next year, supporting Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposals to increase spending on health care and colleges. No changes were made to financing for privatization deals involving the LSU hospitals, though federal officials have rejected the funding... more »