'Rainy day' fund use considered by La. lawmakers
Lawmakers are weighing whether to use Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to help fill a $211 million gap in this year's budget. House Speaker Chuck Kleckley says he's willing to look at using the money because he's worried that otherwise public colleges and health care programs would face deep cuts that could damage services. "I don't know that there are a whole lot of options left at this point in time," says Kleckley, R-Lake Charles. The state's revenue forecasting panel downgraded income projections this week, as income tax collections remain sluggish and below expectations. The Revenue Estimating Conference dropped this year's forecast by nearly $211 million and next year's forecast by $304 million. Louisiana is required to have a balanced budget each year. Only two months remain before the fiscal year ends June 30, so lawmakers have to rebalance this year's spending plan quickly and find a way to close the $211 million deficit. With less time left in the fiscal year, the cuts are harder to make, as agencies have spent much of the money they expected. Read the full story by The Associated Press for more details here.
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