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  Louisiana state economist contradicts Bobby Jindal's explanation of budget problems
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Last EditedRP  Feb 26, 2015 04:55pm
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CategoryAnalysis
AuthorJulia O'Donoghue
MediaNewspaper - New Orleans Times-Picayune
News DateWednesday, February 25, 2015 10:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionGov. Bobby Jindal has repeatedly claimed that Louisiana's projected $1.6 billion financial shortfall in the next fiscal year is primarily due to falling oil prices, but the state's own economist is saying -- in no uncertain terms -- that this is not the case.

"The bulk of the projected funding shortfall for [next year's] budget is not related to oil prices. The [budget] funding shortfall was projected at nearly $1.2 billion before any oil price revisions were considered," said Greg Albrecht, the chief economist for the Louisiana Legislature, in an analysis he released Wednesday (Feb. 25).

Unlike Jindal, Albrecht blamed the majority of the shortfall on Louisiana's budgeting tactics over the last few years. He said Jindal and the Legislature have relied on piecemeal funding sources -- trusts, revenue from property sales and other things -- that don't replenish themselves year after year. This has lead to the financial crisis.

"Nearly $1 billion of that shortfall is associated with the use of ad hoc resources supporting the current [year's] budget that will have to be replaced for the [next year's] budget," Albrecht said, attributing just 25 percent of the $1.6 billion budget hole to dropping oil prices.
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