- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on Louisiana’s budget deficit (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

Louisiana closed the books on the last budget year with a $313 million deficit.

That’s the figure Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says will be presented to lawmakers Friday.

Dardenne says Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration hasn’t yet decided how to deal with the shortfall, which is from the budget year that ended June 30.

But state agencies and public colleges have been told to prepare for cuts that could reach as much as 7 percent to 10 percent of their state general fund financing. For the LSU System, a 7 percent cut could top $24 million, for example.

Dardenne says the administration is looking at possible use of Louisiana’s “rainy day” fund to close some of the gap. But he says that won’t be enough and cuts will be needed.

___

2 p.m.

Louisiana’s state agencies and colleges are being asked to prepare for budget cuts of as much as 10 percent of their state financing because of a deficit from last year that could reach $300 million.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration notified departments this week of the possible cuts.

Agencies say they’ve been asked to draw up scenarios for slashing 7 percent to 10 percent of their state general fund revenue. That’s the money they get from general tax collections - not their fines, fees and other dedicated financing sources.

The agriculture department, secretary of state’s office, lieutenant governor’s office and University of Louisiana System, among others, have confirmed receiving cut figures.

The deficit is driven in part by lagging business tax collections. A precise figure hasn’t yet been released publicly.


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