Louisiana’s $1.5B budget gap projection is skewed, say Edwards, state lawmakers

Gov. John Bel Edwards and state lawmakers are decrying next year’s projected $1.5 billion mid-year budget gap, arguing the number skews too high by inflation assumptions.

The price tag for the so-called “fiscal cliff” was presented to the joint House and Senate budget committee this morning—the first official calculation since the legislative sessions ended in June.

News that the gap could be larger than previously discussed made some lawmakers bristle. Several Republican lawmakers pushed against including inflationary increases in the calculation of the budget gap—saying they traditionally don’t give agencies additional dollars to pay for such things. The larger $1.5 billion shortfall figure includes projections for rising state expenses, as required by state law.

“It would be a lot better to have real numbers, rather than these inflated projected numbers that just scare everybody,” said Sen. Jim Fannin, a Jonesboro Republican.

The Associated Press has the full story.

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