Jindal Uses Fund Sweeps To Plug Most Of Deficit

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state budget deficit.

         The money combined with $50 million in state agency cuts will rebalance the $25 billion budget, under the plan unveiled to lawmakers Friday.

         Most of the cuts come from the elimination of vacant jobs, contract reductions and fewer dollars for travel and supplies. Among the cuts, the state will lessen spending on supplies for road maintenance work, public school testing contracts and mentor programs for at-risk youth.

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         Public colleges were largely shielded from cuts.

         The deficit was tied to slumping severance tax and mineral royalties from dropping oil prices, combined with weak growth in personal income taxes.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte

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