Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 8:52 am
Skies may actually be clear over Baton Rouge today, but gloom hangs over the state capitol, as the Revenue Estimating Conference downgraded Louisiana’s income forecasts Monday. That means there’s a $103-million shortfall for the current fiscal year. And the deficit for the next budget year, which starts July 1, has ballooned to $1.6-billion.
A state panel that determines how much revenue the Louisiana government has at its disposal delivered the bad news on Monday that everyone knew was coming: the budget hole is even bigger than estimated.
NOLA.com reports that dropping oil prices continue to make an already bad budget situation in Louisiana even worse.
Greg Albrecht is the chief economist for the Louisiana Legislature. He said today, “The news is bad.”
The closure of the master's program in romance languages at the University of New Orleans has been postponed, NOLA.com reports.
At a meeting of the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors last week, faculty and staff in the foreign languages department questioned the low enrollment numbers used in a report about restructuring the programs.
The House Appropriations Committee got a different look at the cost of six years’ worth of higher education cuts Monday, as the push is on for colleges and universities to better prepare students to fill new jobs coming to Louisiana.
The head of a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes health research said Louisiana stands to lose millions of dollars in medical research funding due to the across-the-board federal spending cuts known as the sequester. Mary Woolley, president of the Alexandria, Va.-based Research!America, said the National Institutes of Health distributes billions of dollars to universities and research institutions – and the grants are getting scarcer and more competitive.