Deficit Looms Over State Budget Session

Apr 13, 2015

The Louisiana Legislature gets back in session Monday. The number one problem facing lawmakers is how to come up with $1.6 billion to balance the budget.

State lawmakers have two months to come up with enough funds to close that gaping deficit.

LA Politics Weekly publisher Jeremy Alford is calling it “the session of our discontent.”

“In just a few months lawmakers have to go back on the ballot, go back home and try to get re-elected," he said. "So do they cut their local college or local university to the bone, or do they make the largest businesses in their district pay more in taxes? Either way there are going to be lawmakers who walk away from this session deeply scarred.”  

Alford says that when Governor Bobby Jindal delivers his final address to a joint legislature this afternoon, his message will reflect his national presidential campaign.

“No net increase in taxes. He’s made that promise as a presidential candidate. He’s made that promise as a governor," he said. "And as long as he gets to keep that he’ll be able to declare some type of victory at the end of the session.”  

Two demonstrations are planned at the Capitol – one protesting cuts in higher education, another against the administration’s refusal to expand Medicaid.