Louisiana budget gap for next year estimated at up to $962M

Louisiana News

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – APRIL 17: A general view of the Louisiana State Capitol prior to a rally against Louisiana’s stay-at-home order and economic shutdown on April 17, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Governor John Bell Edwards has said Louisiana’s high rate of infections and deaths does not position the state to quickly open back up. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — New estimates show Louisiana’s shortfall for the upcoming budget year could reach as high as $962 million.

It’s driven by the loss of one-time federal coronavirus aid used to patch together this year’s budget. The projections for the year that begins July 1 were provided Friday to the joint House and Senate budget committee.

The size of next year’s shortfall, however, doesn’t necessarily indicate the depth of cuts Gov. John Bel Edwards and lawmakers will have to make.

The state has $293 million in unspent cash from this year. Plus, Louisiana is receiving new federal aid passed by Congress. And President Joe Biden is proposing additional aid to states.

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