Louisiana Political News Wire
Jindal, legislators differ on budget
by Michelle Millhollon - Advocate (excerpt)
Many legislators in the House are dismissing the Jindal administrationís warnings that key dollars need to stay in the state spending plan to protect health care and higher education from drastic cuts. House Bill 1, the proposed $25 billion state operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, is scheduled to be debated Thursday on the House floor, where high hurdles await.
At issue is a largely philosophical disagreement over the use of one-time money to balance the state budget during difficult financial times. Money from the sale of a hospital and other sources would be used to patch together a budget that pays for schools and prisons.For the public, the dispute is significant because the alternative to using the one-time money could be significant cuts to hospitals, colleges and other state services.
ďThatís impossible,Ē said Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, the governorís chief budget aide. Rainwater is warning legislators that hospitals would close and college funding would be slashed if they prevail in purging more than $300 million in one-time money from the proposed budget.
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