More Budget Cuts Coming: New $370M State Deficit Emerges

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The budget hits keep on coming in Louisiana.

         The state has a $370 million midyear budget deficit, amid oil and gas price drops and lower-than-expected business tax collections.

         A downgrade of the state's income projections was approved Monday by the Revenue Estimating Conference.

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         Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration says it will close the midyear gap quickly, along with a $117 million deficit from last year that has yet to be addressed.

         Jindal's top budget architect, Stafford Palmieri, said the administration could release its budget rebalancing plan as early as Tuesday. She wouldn't say what might be included, but said the administration wants to protect critical services.

         Senate President John Alario says he hopes public colleges can be largely shielded from cuts, but he doesn't expect health care services will escape slashing.

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         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte



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