By Associated Press - Thursday, September 26, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana will have a new university economist on the state income forecasting panel.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ chief budget adviser, the Senate president and House speaker unanimously agreed Wednesday that Stephen Barnes would join them on the Revenue Estimating Conference.

Barnes worked at LSU for a decade. He recently became the founding director of a new public policy center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The forecasting conference determines income projections used to build the state budget and adopts multiyear projections for tax, license and fee collections. The independent economist is critical because all panel votes must be unanimous.

Barnes was among three candidates recommended by the Board of Regents after LSU’s Jim Richardson announced his retirement. Richardson had been on the conference since its creation three decades ago

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