|Senator Jack Donahue Newsletter - Legislative Session Update|
|Tuesday, April 27 2010 - 3:53 pm|
What a Start!
The legislature is like a large ball . . . it is hard to start moving, but once in motion it continues to gain speed and is very difficult to stop. Well that "ball" is starting to roll and its speed is increasing so brace yourself!
The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) is the body charged with projecting the revenues for the state. The REC meets and projects the revenues for the current year which ends June 30, 2010 and also for the next fiscal year which starts July 1, 2010. Well, the REC met recently and, as I am sure you heard, the projected shortfall for the current year is $319 million, which means the state will have to reduce expenditures at a rate of $31.9 million per week for the next 10 weeks. These are huge cuts and there are a lot of suggestions on the table as to how to accomplish the task. As you already know, higher education has been cut severely over the last two budgets and health care providers have had reimbursements rates reduced to the point where I question just how well they can function in the future.
The Governor and the legislature will now bear the responsibility of deciding just what course of action to take to accomplish the cuts. There is talk of using the Rainy Day Fund, raiding other funds or "borrowing" current funds that are available now but will have to be repaid shortly. The debate will be lively and the outcome, at least in my mind, is far from a foregone conclusion.
As you know, I do not like to spend time talking about what I am doing, but because of the number of streamlining bills I have filed my time is almost totally consumed by my pursuit of smaller/better government through my bills. Some will be controversial and some will be contentious, but please know that my only motivation is to make Louisiana a better state to live and work in.
Please let either Michelle or me know what we can do to help you.