- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Mardi Gras calendar is disrupting lawmakers’ review of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget proposal.

Rep. Jim Fannin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he wanted to start combing through the governor’s spending recommendations during the first week of March. But he says he couldn’t compete with Fat Tuesday, which also falls that week.

Fannin says he didn’t think it was a good idea to hold budget hearings if many of the committee members were absent, attending Mardi Gras parades.

Instead, the Appropriations Committee will open its budget hearings on March 11, the day after the legislative session begins.

Fannin says he doesn’t expect the later start to disrupt lawmakers’ ability to delve into the details of the spending proposal.