(T)he Louisiana Legislature has to face the fiscal music in April. Louisiana’s oil and gas wealth isn’t as great as it used to be, but the state remains better off than others, even with a $1.3 billion overall projected shortfall. The Legislature can tap up to about $285 million from a “rainy-day” fund to fill part of the gap.
“That’s what it’s there for,” Sen. John Alario, D-Westwego, said of the fund. “It’s fixing to rain on us pretty significantly.” Cutbacks, though, will have to make up a significant part of the gap.
We hope state government and the Jindal administration — having come into office during flush budget times — will take the opportunity to cut wisely, making strategic decisions about what the state can do without in the next year or in the coming decade.