Last Modified: Monday, April 22, 2013 8:09 PM
BATON ROUGE — Rep. Brett Geymann of Moss Bluff said he was encouraged here Monday when the House Appropriations Committee sent four state budget reform bills to the full House.
Geymann is a key player in a group of Republican lawmakers dubbed “Fiscal Hawks” who think the Legislature needs to play a stronger role in how state budgets are planned and financed. The governor submits a proposed budget to legislators, it is often changed by the House and then restored to pretty much its original form by the state Senate.
Conservative legislators have criticized Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budgets because they rely too heavily on one-time money and on revenues that are contingent on some future action. The net result, they say, is mid-year budget cuts to state agencies and hard-pressed higher education and health care institutions.
Geymann said the changes will “put everything on the table and there would be no more accounting gimmicks.” He added there would also be fewer mid-year budget cuts.
Voting on the budget early would also give legislators more time to debate and to override vetoes while still in session, he said. Lawmakers have always been reluctant to come back to Baton Rouge for veto sessions.
House Bill 434 by Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe, requires separate spending bills — one for revenues over which the Legislature has control and another for funds that are dedicated to certain budget areas.
Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, is sponsor of HB 435 that outlines the responsibilities of the Revenue Estimating Conference. The conference issues forecasts on expected revenues, and the bill has the REC define those that are one-time funds. It adds that the governor’s budget shouldn’t contain revenues dependent on some future action that may or may not take place.
HB 437 by Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, requires the REC’s official forecast of revenues to include a projection of all state general funds, self-generated revenues and statutorily dedicated funds. It would also designate which funds are nonrecurring (one-time money that won’t be available in future years).
Geymann is sponsor of HB 620. It requires a separate nondiscretionary appropriations bill if funding for health care or higher education are going to be reduced. He said that would give legislators an opportunity to consider opening up other areas of the budget to cuts.
Opponents of the budget changes say the reformed process could end up making it necessary to make even more budget cuts than have been made in recent years.
Posted By: jack joshlin On: 4/22/2013
Title: Why does education need any funding from state budget?
With the profits from taxes to casinos all public education was suppose to be funded. What happened to that $ and where is it being spent today. I find it hard to believe that with as much gambiling that is done in this state the Tax dollars that go with it could not fund the schools. as for higher education what happens to the money from the SECfootball games. if you figure all 90,000 (yes i know it seats more) would sell at $18 thats $1,620,000 a home game x 8 home games of 2013 = $12,960,000 and lets say its an even split with the other team that still leaves $6,480,000 to operate. That does not include gate fees, concessions, all of the tickets, parking, or the actual price of tickets that all to often range WAY over $18 nor away games. Why does LSU need funding from the state to run programs? is does not make any sense that with that kind of income they can not operate on that budget.