May 19, 2011 6:17 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Any lawmakers' hopes that Louisiana's income picture would brighten have been dashed.
The state income forecasting panel, called the Revenue Estimating Conference, instead dropped the state's forecast by $77 million this year. While the panel agreed Wednesday to leave next year's estimates alone, the drop in this year's projections will have ripple effects into next year's budget.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin says he expects to get proposals from the governor's office about how to handle the money drop. There are extra funds lawmakers could use from this year to fill the gap and offset cuts, but legislators had planned to use those dollars to fill a shortfall in next year's budget.