Jindal Budget Criticized For Shaky Financing
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's $24.9 billion budget would cut spending on education programs for at-risk youth, state employees, parks and museums, and social services. Lawmakers reviewing the budget Friday for the first time say the financing plans are shaky because they assume dollars that would need separate legislative approval to be used. New Orleans Sen. Karen Carter Peterson called the governor's executive budget unconstitutional because of the contingent financing. House Speaker Jim Tucker raised concerns that the state's free college tuition program, called TOPS, is funded with dollars that require backing from voters in a statewide referendum this fall. Other lawmakers criticized Jindal plans to sell state prisons and to raise state employee retirement costs. A final version of the 2011-12 budget won't be crafted by lawmakers until June.