Jun 2, 2010 4:50 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A package of proposals that would make
it easier to tap into protected funds, to ease budget cuts, has won
passage from the Louisiana Senate.
Senate President Joel Chaisson pitched the measures as giving
lawmakers and the governor more flexibility to deal with steep
budget drops expected within a year.
The bills are backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
But the constitutional changes face an uncertain future in the
House, where leaders have expressed hesitation at dipping into the
funds. If approved in the House, they still would need approval
from voters in the fall.
The proposals would let the governor cut more deeply into
protected funds when the state has budget troubles, would allow
lawmakers to use the state's "rainy day" fund when federal money
flowing to the state drops and would shift some dollars to health
care that otherwise would go into a trust fund.