Friday, October 30, 2015

Why would anybody even want this job?

The new governor's first task will be dealing with yet another terrifying budget crisis.
The Jindal administration is not expected to release a plan for coping with midyear cuts until next month. State legislators said they expect no action to take place until after the gubernatorial runoff on Nov. 21, when Jindal's replacement will be selected. The current governor and the incoming governor would probably coordinate on how to handle midyear cuts.

To cope with the shortfall, Jindal might access Louisiana's "rainy day" fund for financial emergencies. The governor is allowed to remove a third of the fund -- around $172 million -- to address pressing budget issues.

Both candidates for governor, U.S. Sen. David Vitter and state Rep. John Bel Edwards, have also said they would deal with the current year's financial crisis during a special fiscal session either in January or early February.

Louisiana's budget shortfalls typically fall on the backs of its public colleges and universities because so much other state funding -- health care dollars and coastal restoration dollars, for example -- has constitutional protections. It's easier to cut higher education funding than almost any other part of the budget.

Both gubernatorial candidates and state legislators have said they are hoping to insulate higher education from additional cuts. But the scope of the problem is so large, that it is hard to imagine they won't take at least some hits.
Congratulations, Governor!  You're sure this is what you want, right? 

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