Jindal administration working to close budget gap

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has started sifting through agency budget proposals as it works on a plan to close next year’s $1.4 billion shortfall. But Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says the hole isn’t quite as large as it appears.

About $200 million is tied to inflationary increases that don’t necessarily get funded each year. She says another $300 million can be filled by using recommendations from a consultant that devised proposals to save the state money.

That still leaves a hefty gap, and Nichols acknowledged cuts will have to be made.

But Nichols said rather than give agencies target figures to cut their spending plans, she wants to talk about state priorities and ways to end redundancies across departments.

Jindal’s budget proposal is due to lawmakers on Feb. 27.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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