State budget deficit growing into billions
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers met at the capitol this morning, where they discussed the state budget and its growth.
Members of the joint budget committee are optimistic because the state took in more money than expected last month. The state is short $1.2 billion though, and many lawmakers are pointing at Medicaid for the shortfall.
"Our cost in relation to Medicaid to provide the same services we did with our previous general fund dollars is going to require about $500 or $600 million more," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Donahue.
Lawmakers won't know the exact amount of the shortfall until the executive budget is released next month. The budget committee will readdress agencies and their spending habits at the beginning of the new fiscal year, July 1.