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Sunday, July 14, 2019

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$56M in budget gaps estimated for this year, senators told

$56M in budget gaps estimated for this year, senators told

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — As if lawmakers didn't have enough budget worries with next year's $1.6 billion shortfall, state senators learned this year's budget is short an estimated $56 million.

Sherry Phillips-Hymel, the Senate's chief budget analyst, gave the Senate Finance Committee a list last Wednesday of outstanding financial gaps for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

On the list, the state's public school financing formula is short $36 million and the TOPS free college tuition program needs $5 million to cover a higher-than-projected number of students.

Also, Phillips-Hymel said the Medicaid program has $12 million less than needed to pay for expected services and sheriffs are owed $3 million more for housing state prisoners in local jails.

Lawmakers will consider ways to plug those holes during the legislative session.

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