Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Oil prices remain below state budget estimate

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BATON ROUGE- Oil prices dropped below $50 a barrel Wednesday, which is good news for drivers but bad for Louisiana's state budget.

The state estimated oil prices to average $61 a barrel for the year. For every dollar it drops below that, Louisiana loses around $12 million. That's money needed for services like hospitals and higher education.

"Oil is more volatile because oil prices can go up and down dramatically," said economist Jim Richardson.

About 15 percent of the state budget comes from oil revenue, the third largest source of money for the budget.

The recent drop isn't as severe as last year when oil prices fell about 40 percent. However if prices keep falling or stay at their current level, the state might adjust its estimate.

The state hasn't indicated if they will make a change, but it could happen as soon as next month when the Revenue Estimating Conference meets.



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