BATON ROUGE, La. — Next year's $25 billion budget is taking center stage in the Louisiana House.
Lawmakers are debating the 2014-15 spending plans Thursday, with new worries raised by federal rejection of financing for the LSU hospital privatization deals already put in place by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The Jindal administration says it will appeal the ruling and is negotiating other possible hospital funding plans with federal officials. The governor's top budget adviser has told lawmakers there's no immediate disruption to money for the hospitals for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin, who handles the budget bill, began the debate by talking of the state's ongoing budget problems, saying balancing the spending plans is always difficult.