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Lawmakers to cut $319 million

Budget must be balanced by July 1st

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 3:35pm

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana has a $319 million budget deficit this year.

That's the estimate adopted Wednesday by the state's income
forecasting panel, the Revenue Estimating Conference.

Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal have about 10 weeks to close the
budget gap before the fiscal year ends June 30.

The state is constitutionally required to maintain a balanced budget.

Lawmakers say they are considering whether to use money from the
state's "rainy day" fund and other one-time dollars to help
offset the deficit. But cuts are expected.

Gov. Bobby Jindal intends to talk about his proposals later
Wednesday afternoon.

The forecasting panel also dropped its estimates further for
next year, shrinking revenue projections by another $245 million.