state budget

With all the sleet and freezing rain that seized up our brains in the past week, it would be easy to forget that in the midst of the first sneaux day last Friday, the Jindal administration presented its budget proposal. The budget is approximately $25 billion. And that’s about $600 million less than the spending for the current fiscal year.

The Revenue Estimating Conference, which crunches the numbers on the state’s income every year, announced on Wednesday that revenues are $35 million short of what was expected for 2013-2014. But for the first time since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office, there should be no mid-year cuts to Louisiana's budget.


With a 95-3 vote, a nearly $25 billion budget is heading to the Senate for approval after days of negotiations. But it’s not the plan Gov. Bobby Jindal wanted.

Jim talks with State Treasurer John Kennedy about Governor Jindal's proposed 2013 state budget. Kennedy thinks aspects of it will not work.

Nutrition expert Dr. Neal Barnard on his book "Power Foods for the Brain".

On the Jim Engster Show Thursday morning, Division of Administration Commissioner Kristy Nichols relied on talking points that have been repeated by officials in the Jindal administration. 

The Commissioner has cherry-picked her facts.

Jim speaks with Ernest Hemingway biographer A.E. Hotchner about his latest book "O.J. in the Morning, G&T at Night".

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols discusses Governor Jindal's budget and tax reform proposals.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are voicing their skepticism of Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax overhauls. The forum this morning: an annual pre-session briefing hosted by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Jim Patterson of LABI kicked off the presentation with what he’s heard from legislators about their private talks with Governor regarding his still unreleased tax overhauls. "[Gov. Jindal] does want to conform the local sales tax base to the state tax base," Patterson said. "This will help local governments to absorb what are going to be some relegation of services by the state to them.

Louisiana gives out about $4.4 billion in tax breaks to businesses and individuals each year. A look at the major categories of taxes collected and tax exemptions in the just-ended 2011-12 budget year, according to estimates from the state revenue department:

Corporate Income Taxes:

  • Potential collections: $1.7 billion.
  • Actual collections: $198 million.
  • Estimated exemptions: $1.5 billion.

Percentage of tax loss: 88 percent.

Sales Taxes:

In what is becoming an annual ritual, Gov. Bobby Jindal has again issued a partial hiring freeze on executive branch agencies in state government.

The hiring freeze covers the 2012-13 fiscal year that began July 1.

For most agencies, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater will set a number of vacant positions that the offices can't fill. If they want to add new workers who will shrink the number of vacancies below that benchmark, the agencies will need Rainwater's permission.

BATON ROUGE — A leader of conservative state House Republicans calls it "shameful" that the GOP-controlled Legislature passed a $25.6 billion budget that contained piecemeal, one-time funding. Rep. Brett Geymann is one of three dozen lawmakers so-called "fiscal hawks" who pushed for reduced spending.