Proposed state budget cuts to target safety-net hospitals in Louisiana

Louisiana will propose state budget cuts for higher education, safety-net hospitals as well as services for the disabled, reports The Times-Picayune.

In total, the state plans to make more than $600 million in midyear budget cuts over the next two months as a result of Louisiana's financial issues.

The state is trying to close a $313 million residual budget deficit that's carried over from the last budget cycle, according to the report. Additionally, the report notes, Louisiana's state taxes aren't bringing in the expected amount for the current budget year. State budget chief Jay Dardenne said he expects an additional shortfall of more than $300 million to be tacked on to the current deficit.

Mr. Dardenne said proposed cuts to higher education, hospitals for the poor and uninsured as well as services for the disabled will be made because they are unavoidable due to the budget shortfall, according to the report.

The proposal for cuts comes despite the fact legislators spent months last year looking for ways to avoid them. The state's "rainy day" fund — which is supposed to help cover unexpected financial shortfalls — will also likely be used. 

A 2017 special session could also be in the future due to the financial problems.


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