Where is it?
On Friday, as I watched the Louisiana House of Representatives debate the state’s FY 14 budget I couldn’t help, but wonder what happened to certain fiscal concerns that I didn’t hear addressed in the debate.
Some of those issues for which I missed the solutions are:
1. For years we heard concerns about the state going over a “fiscal cliff.”
This year that cliff was in the neighborhood of $1.2 Billion needed to maintain the status quo of state government.
If the cliff has been addressed, I missed it.
2. We were told that even after the mid-year reductions, the current year’s (FY13) budget had an approximate $80 Million shortfall due to certain projected revenues not materializing.
The state constitution prohibits the state from incurring a deficit. The FY13 budget ends on June 30.
If that shortfall has been addressed, I missed it.
3. The Minimum Foundation Program (“MFP”) for FY13 was recently declared unconstitutional by the LA Supreme Court because the lege failed to properly approve it during the 2012 Regular Session.
As a result, it is as though the FY13 MFP never existed. When that happens the MFP reverts to the formula approved for the previous fiscal year.
The previous year’s MFP provides for a 2.75% increase in funding if the FY MFP is not approved. From what source is the additional 2.75% funded?
The FY12 MFP contained no funding for Bobby Jindal’s statewide voucher program. What happens to the money spent on the vouchers in FY13 that wasn’t authorized?
If these two issues have been addressed, I missed it.
4. The FY14 budget is funded, in part, by $800 Million in projected savings from privatizing the former LSU hospitals.
Other than for Lallie Kemp, I don’t believe that there is state funding for these state hospitals past October 31.
Other than for Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge, I don’t believe any of the agreements for private providers to operate the hospitals have been signed.
Without the agreements in place timely, funding for these hospitals will remain the responsibility of the state’s taxpayers.
If we taxpayers have to pick up the tabs for any hospital after October, it seems that the lege will have to come back into a special session to address the matter before October 31.
If this issue has been addressed, I missed it.
Perhaps some lege can explain to me what happened to these fiscal issues. I don’t want to be concerned needlessly about massive cuts in vital state services or massive tax increases in the near future.
Can anyone help me see what I’ve missed?