Covering Louisiana

Aug 14, 2014 2:55 PM

Next year's state budget shortfall pegged at $1.2B

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State lawmakers have gotten their first glimpse of next year's budget gap that they'll have to close, and it's another hefty shortfall: $1.2 billion.

The grim news was delivered Thursday to the joint legislative budget committee. It barely raised eyebrows at the committee hearing, after more than six years of such disappointing financial forecasts.

The number provided by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration involves replacing all the patchwork financing that was used to balance this year's budget and disappears next year, while also accounting for inflation.

Jindal and lawmakers will decide in the 2015 legislative session how to address the shortfall. Barry Dusse, director of the governor's Office of Planning and Budget, said the administration already is working on ways to close the gap.

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