Following the special session, the previously estimated $30 million shortfall for the current fiscal year doubled to $66 million due to the proposed tax hikes falling short. The $750 million shortfall for the next fiscal year remains.
The legislature has given Gov. Edwards the final say over where the additional cuts will be made. Gov. Edwards' chief budget advisor, Jay Dardenne, hopes to release a detailed list of reductions on Monday.
Higher education is expected to absorb half of the nearly $70 million shortfall, leaving at least $30 million to be taken on by healthcare.
The Governor's administration may alleviate the reductions over the next few weeks through various methods including "funds sweeping." This involves taking the remaining cash in dedicated state funds and putting it to towards higher education and healthcare. This could potentially reduce the current year's shortfall by $20 million. However, Gov. Edwards' administration has resisted using this tactic due to it being a quick fix often used by Jindal.
The Senate Retirement Committee heard updates from various state and statewide systems including:
- State Police Retirement System
- Sheriffs' Pension and Relief Fund
- Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System
- Firefighters' Retirement System
- District Attorneys' Retirement System
- Municipal Employees' Retirement System of Louisiana.
For the House Retirement Committee, Chairman Pearson advised other members of the committee that he was "not in a hurry" to schedule Rep. Ivey's bills, citing his belief that they cannot pass the House.
For a constantly updated list of bills we are tracking related to pensions, please click here.
Once again, TRSL and LASERS have taken positions on bills and their boards' positions can be viewed by clicking here for TRSL and here for LASERS.
We will keep everyone updated on any news related to the budget. We will also provide updates on legislation as any progress is made in either committee.
- Business Report: Opportunity for structural change in Louisiana
- The Advocate: For Louisiana higher education, health care; bigger-than-expected budget deficit means deeper cuts