- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state’s operating budget is back in balance, after lawmakers agreed to use nearly $32 million from Louisiana’s recent tax amnesty period to plug a deficit.

The shortfall stemmed from a revision in the state’s income estimates, because of worse-than-expected tax collections in the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

But rather than have to make cuts, the state had unspent cash from the amnesty program that could be used.

Lawmakers on the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget agreed to the deficit-filling plan without objection Friday, swapping out dollars in the state health department budget to make the accounting work.

It was the first time in six years that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration didn’t have to make midyear cuts to rebalance the state budget.

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