May 12, 2010 7:41 AM by Sharlee Jacobs
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Senate has backed the use
of the state's "rainy day" fund to help close a $319 million
deficit and rebalance this year's budget.
The Senate voted 35-zero Tuesday to authorize the use of as much
as $198 million from the Budget Stabilization Fund -- the maximum
allowed under the trust fund's rules.
The vote sends the proposal to the House for debate. House
Speaker Jim Tucker has said lawmakers there are considering whether
to use the rainy day money this year.
Governor Bobby Jindal hasn't supported the idea, arguing the
savings account should be saved for the 2011-2012 budget year, when
the state's money problems are expected to worsen.
Instead, Jindal proposed rebalancing this year's budget with a
mix of other one-time dollars. Lawmakers question much of the
one-time funding Jindal wants to use, however.