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Governor Landry's Budget At A Glance

February 16, 2024 11:42 AM | Anonymous

The executive budget presented by Gov. Jeff Landry's administration in Louisiana outlines several key points and priorities for the upcoming fiscal year:

  1. Reduction in Spending: The budget proposes a significant reduction in spending by $3.3 billion compared to the current year's budget. This reduction is attributed to the drying up of federal funds for COVID-19 response and the impending expiration of a temporary sales tax, which is projected to create a shortfall of over $500 million.
  2. Balanced Budget Requirement: Louisiana's state constitution mandates a balanced budget, meaning there cannot be any deficits when legislators finalize the budget during the regular session.
  3. Preparation for Shortfall: To prepare for the future shortfall, the administration has directed state agencies to find ways to reduce spending, including holding off on filling vacancies and other measures.
  4. Teacher Pay Stipends: The budget allocates $198 million for teacher pay stipends, similar to last year's proposal for teacher pay increases. However, the details of how this money will be divided among teachers and support staff are yet to be determined. The stipend is not proposed to be made permanent at this time due to the projected shortfall.
  5. Early Childhood Education Funding: Funding for early childhood education remains consistent with the previous year, with the Child Care Assistance Program receiving $87.7 million.
  6. TOPS Funding: The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) will be fully funded at $307 million.
  7. Major Repairs and Projects: $127.1 million will be allocated for major repairs and projects, including wildfire response equipment, air conditioning at a corrections facility, and replacing State Police vehicles.
  8. Healthcare and Public Safety: There is a $116 million reduction to the Louisiana Department of Health for Managed Care Organization (MCO) utilization, enrollment, and premium tax changes. Additionally, the Department of Corrections will receive an additional $20.5 million for operations, compensation, and supplies, while State Police will get $32.4 million, including funding for an additional New Orleans troop.
  9. Surplus Funds: An estimated surplus of $325 million from FY23 will be allocated, with $81 million going into the Rainy Day Fund and $32 million into Unfunded Accrued Liability. The remaining surplus will be divided among various departments and projects.
  10. Special Session: A special crime session is set to begin on Feb. 19, followed by the regular legislative session starting on March 11, during which the budget will be debated and potentially amended.

In addition, the funds bill includes allocations for new voting machines and emergency response funds for future disasters. Overall, the budget reflects the administration's efforts to address fiscal challenges while prioritizing key areas such as education, public safety, and infrastructure.

SOURCES FOR THIS ARTICLE: 

Gov. Landry presents first budget with $3.3 billion reduction

 
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