House Appropriations Committee

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The House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a budget today for next fiscal year that will contain 648-million dollars in cuts from the current fiscal year. When the budget process started, lawmakers had a nearly billion dollar budget deficit, but an increase in tax collections has led to a much smaller fiscal cliff. Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says his committee wants to use that newly recognized revenue for TOPS.

 

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Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne is warning that lawmakers will not be able to cut their way to a balanced budget for next fiscal year. He testified in front of the House Appropriations Committee today and reiterated the governor’s call to wrap up the regular session in early May, so that a special session that addresses revenue can be called to tackle the fiscal cliff. Dardenne has a challenge for lawmakers who disagree.

 

Revenue issues can only be brought up in a special session this year.

 

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A bill to create a transparency tool called Louisiana Checkbook passed the House Appropriations committee, and may be considered on the house floor later this week. The program closely mirrors Ohiocheckbook.com, where Ohio residents are presented a detailed report about state expenses. House Speaker Taylor Barras says it’s a user friendly tool for the public.

 

According to Barras, the Louisiana Checkbook could be "...one of the most interactive tools for gathering the financial data of state agencies."