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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Out of office, Jindal looms over Louisiana budget crisis"

Not Indiana, but a fairly astonishing story out of Louisiana, reported yesterday in the Washington Post by Melinda Deslatte. A few quotes from the long story:

BATON ROUGE, La. — Bobby Jindal left the governor’s office nearly two months ago, but his legacy permeates a special legislative session aimed at digging Louisiana out of deep financial troubles.

Louisiana’s worst budget crisis in nearly 30 years is threatening public colleges with cuts that could shutter campuses mid-semester and putting health care services for the poor and disabled at risk of elimination.

State leaders blame the Republican former governor for creating — and hiding — many of those woes. * * *

Criticism of Jindal is bipartisan and widespread, with irritated lawmakers left sifting through the highly-unpopular choices of raising taxes or taking a hatchet to higher education and government services. They’re considering enacting tax bills Jindal vetoed and stripping a fake tax credit created to protect Jindal’s anti-tax record.

Legislators are hearing that cuts described by the Jindal administration as “efficiencies” actually went much deeper, striking at services. They’ve learned about borrowing practices that increased state debts and about threats to Louisiana’s cash flow because it spent down reserves. * * *

Guarding his anti-tax record, Jindal balanced the budget with short-term fixes: selling state property and raiding savings accounts. As the assets disappeared or promised savings didn’t pan out, budget gaps appeared. The oil price slump worsened the problems.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 8, 2016 03:04 PM
Posted to Indiana Government