If you like your state budget process peppered with uncertainty, drenched in politics and caked with circumstance, then Jeremy Alford has some great news for you in his latest column.
For the second year in a row, it’s unlikely that the Edwards administration will have a fully fleshed-out executive budget proposal for its Feb. 7 deadline. But don’t blame Gov. John Bel Edwards and his Division of Administration.
The holdup, once again, is with the Revenue Estimating Conference, which is a rather small panel of smart and influential people who are charged with determining how much money the state has coming in and, in turn, how much can be spent. There’s still no unanimous agreement among the REC’s four members on what these figures should be for the current and next fiscal years.
Even if the REC could settle on a set of numbers to complete the budget picture, there’s still a separate dispute lingering that involves the treasury’s annual transfers of unclaimed property cash to the state. Plus, lawmakers are in the process of taking over new leadership roles on the Legislature’s key money committees.
All of these factors could combine for yet another round of messy budget debates when legislators convene their regular session in March.
Read Alford’s full column in which he writes about the nuances behind the budget slowdown, and what could happen next for Louisiana.