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Friday, 19 June 2015 14:59
OMG, Jindal signs budget, issues line items and claims he did not raise taxes
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Louisiana-house-repsLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed HB1, the budget into law and issued line item vetoes.  He stated below that the budget is balanced without tax increases, however, there were over 700 million dollars in tax increases.  Jindal balanced the budget with a scheme called the SAVE act, which was designed to protect his presidential run, which official begins June 24.

 

 

 

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal signed HB 1 into law and issued line item vetoes.

Governor Jindal said, “This is the eighth year in a row we are signing a balanced budget without tax increases. The budget continues the trend of making smart reductions to the size of government, while strengthening the state’s health care system and protecting higher education.”

This session, the Jindal administration focused on implementing efficiencies that produce recurring savings, reducing corporate welfare and cutting one-time funding in the budget in half. These sustainable budget solutions, along with the state's strong economic climate and job growth, will put Louisiana on the path for long-term prosperity. 

Overview
• The FY16 budget reduces the size of state government by nearly 3 percent by reducing spending within state agencies and increasing efficiencies.
• Cuts corporate welfare spending by over $129 million per year.
• In total, the budget decreased from $25.8 billion to approximately $25.1 billion. The number of government positions decreased by 724.
• $626 million in additional recurring revenue was raised in this budget. This was accomplished without a net increase in taxes for the businesses and families of Louisiana.

Higher Education
The budget includes $2.36 billion to fund higher education across the state. In addition, the budget also includes more than $265 million for the TOPS program, which is an increase over last year’s TOPS investment by about $15.2 million. This will ensure more of students have the opportunity to earn a college degree in Louisiana. The SAVE program also provides a recurring, statutorily dedicated revenue stream of $350 million for higher education institutions by providing tax credits to students receiving new assessments. This protects more than a third of higher education’s state funded existing operating budget.

Health care
This budget invests $9.65 billion in funding for The Department of Health and Hospitals, an increase of 1.5% over the previous fiscal year. This also includes a $3.5 million increase to waiver services. The budget commits more than $53.7 million for state partner hospitals around Louisiana to strengthen the delivery of health care for Louisianians.

K-12
This budget increases the total K-12 funding by 2.36%, or $84.7 million.  This includes a 1.375% inflationary increase in MFP funding of $36.2 million, $40.5 million in funding for student growth, $5.4 million for high cost special needs students and $2.6 million for course choice. Investments also include $42 million for the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

Public Safety
Additionally, this budget includes $5 million for a new State Police cadet class that will start in July. The budget also includes $1.4 million for a class of Wildlife and Fisheries agents.

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said, "I'm proud of the work that we have done this session.  We have all worked hard to create a balanced budget that greatly reduces our reliance on one time funding by raising new recurring revenue and creating savings and efficiencies that will be realized every year.  As Louisiana's economy continues to grow we will continue to further improve our State’s recurring budget structure."


The Governor also issued the following letter, which lists the line item vetoes in HB1:

June 19, 2015

Mr. Alfred W. Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

Mr. Glenn Koepp
Secretary of the Senate
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

RE:  House Bill No. 1 of the 2015 Regular Session of the Legislature provides for the ordinary operating expenses of state government for Fiscal Year 2015-2016

Dear Gentlemen:

As authorized by Article III, Section 18(B), and more particularly, Article IV, Section 5(G)(1) of the Constitution of Louisiana, I have exercised my right to veto 5 items of the General Appropriation Bill. I respectfully request that you deliver on my behalf the following message to the members of the Legislature, communicating that I have vetoed items in House Bill No. 1, as follows:

VETO MESSAGE N0. 1
On page 40, delete lines 22 through 27 in their entirety:

The Community Development Block Grant cannot be used for this purpose; therefore, I am vetoing this item.

VETO MESSAGE N0. 2
On page 65, delete lines 48 through 49 in their entirety:

The implementation of this amendment would limit the budgetary discretion of the State Police; therefore, I am vetoing this item.

VETO MESSAGE N0. 3
On page 78, delete lines 40 through 48 in their entirety; On page 79, delete lines 1 through 3 in their entirety:

According to federal restrictions, the Community Development Block Grant cannot be used for this purpose; therefore, I am vetoing this item.

VETO MESSAGE N0. 4
On page 80, delete lines 4 through 17 in their entirety:

According to federal restrictions, the Community Development Block Grant cannot be used for this purpose; therefore, I am vetoing this item.

VETO MESSAGE N0. 5
On page 88, lines 27 through 43 in their entirety:

According to federal restrictions, the Community Development Block Grant cannot be used for this purpose; therefore, I am vetoing this item.


Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

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