Edwards Administration Warning $313M Budget Gap Could Grow

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards' chief budget architect says he fears Louisiana won't meet its income forecast this year, heaping new financial problems on a state already facing a $313 million deficit from last year.

         Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told state lawmakers Friday that economists have been tracking tax collections this year. And he says: "It's not looking real good."

         The Edwards administration notified the joint House and Senate budget committee that the state closed the books on the financial year that ended June 30 having spent $313 million more than the state collected in revenue.

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         But Dardenne says he expects the news to grow worse, because this year's collections also appear to be lagging expectations.

         The Edwards administration has asked state agencies and colleges to draw up cut scenarios.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte

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