Louisiana’s budget deficit up to $197 million

The Louisiana budget is worsening and it appears that Governor Bobby Jindal will soon be faced with the task of recommending cuts.

The latest state revenue forecast adopted today dropped income estimates by another $197 million this year, leaving the state with a midyear deficit to close.

Economist Greg Albrecht, with the Legislative Fiscal Office, says sales tax revenue has plummeted, and the uptick in severance and royalty money from oil prices isn’t enough to combat the sales tax drop.

The latest forecast was approved by the Revenue Estimating Conference.

Lawmakers on the joint House and Senate budget committee are expected to adopt the newest figures Friday. After that, Gov. Bobby Jindal will have 30 days to recommend cuts to the $29 billion budget to close the $197 million gap.

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