Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal met this week with education officials to discuss the likelihood of additional spending cuts in the fiscal 2012 budget.
He met Tuesday with presidents of the four state university systems and a member of the Louisiana State University Board of Regents to consider ways to cope with a projected general fund revenue shortfall of $1.6 billion.
The state has reduced aid to higher education by $310 million over the past two fiscal years. Higher education could take another hit in 2012 of between $300 million and $500 million.
Jindal was expected to confer this week with public education officials and health care leaders to brief them on the budget situation and get their suggestions on how to deal with the expected shortfall.
“This is an opportunity to share ideas,” the Republican governor said. “Everything is going to be on the table. We’re going to talk about how we work together.”
The projected shortfall of $1.6 billion results from a combination of lower revenues, the end of federal stimulus programs, and higher health care costs. The current $25.6 billion state budget includes $7.6 billion of general fund revenue.
Jindal has asked state agencies to prepare for cuts of up to 35% next year as a worst-case scenario. He will present his executive budget to lawmakers in March. The Legislature will meet from April 25 to June 23.