state budget

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.

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana lawmakers have shut down their regular legislative session, ending three months of bitter disputes over budgets, education and retirement. Gov. Bobby Jindal won a big victory for his overhaul of the state education system despite divisions between the GOP governor and some House Republicans.

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana House has agreed to a $25.6 billion budget for next year that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in spending above the figure sought by a group of conservative Republicans.

Lawmakers voted 62-40 Sunday for the Senate version of the spending plans for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The vote gave final passage to the measure, sending it to GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal. He supports the larger budget, rather than the deeper cuts sought by the conservative bloc.

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana House will take up a proposal to use $205 million from the state's "rainy day" fund to offset a deficit in this year's budget. The House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to tap into the Budget Stabilization Fund. The move is overwhelmingly backed by the Senate. A bloc of conservative House Republicans voted against using the money.