Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Recovery dollars swell state budget plan
By Jan Moller
BATON ROUGE -- Flush with federal hurricane-relief dollars and higher-than-expected tax revenue, the Blanco administration Monday proposed a record $20.3 billion state budget that spares most agencies from significant cuts and calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in new education spending.
The spending proposal is $1.6 billion above the $18.7 billion package approved by the Legislature in June for the current fiscal year...
The sheer size of the budget -- and the absence of any major program cuts or reductions -- also surprised longtime fiscal watchdogs who feared the state might be postponing an inevitable day of reckoning.
"The question remains: Are we overextending ourselves based on the amount of one-time, nonrecurring revenue in the budget?" said Jim Brandt, president of the nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council.
Beyond the core functions of education and health care, spending would grow across state government.
LPNS COMMENTARY: WE GUESS THIS MEANS SHE'S LYING TO EVERYONE ON THE RADIO SPOTS SHE'S BEEN RUNNING ALL OVER THE STATE. WHO'S PAYING FOR THOSE THINGS ANYWAY?