State revenue estimated higher for this, next year

Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, and House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, talk after the revenue-estimate meeting. (Photo credit: James A. Smith/LSU Manship School News Service)

Published: Apr. 10, 2019

By: James A. Smith, LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE–The group that projects the state’s revenue finally recognized a brighter outlook after months of partisan infighting.

The state’s Revenue Estimating Conference on Wednesday reached the unanimous vote needed to increase this year’s state general fund forecast by $110 million and next year’s forecast by $119 million.

Now that the forecast is approved, lawmakers are tasked with deciding what to do with the extra revenue.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has proposed spending it on a pay raise for teachers and other state programs. But before the new forecast was approved, legislators had begun debating cuts in some programs since they cannot pass a budget that is not balanced.

The legislative session just started Monday. So approval of the new forecast now could make it easier for Democrats and Republicans to agree on a budget with less rancor than has been the case in recent years.

Read more in the Minden Press-Herald.

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