Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed executive budget for fiscal 2013 calls for total spending of $25.5 billion, down $61 million from the fiscal 2012 spending plan.
Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater detailed the plan last week to the Joint Legislative Committee on the budget. It includes $14.2 billion of state general fund spending and $11.3 billion in federal funds.
“It meant holding the line on certain anticipated cost increases,” Rainwater said.
The budget includes no increase in per-pupil aid to local school districts, closes two state prisons and reduces the state payroll by 6,000 positions.
Most state agency budgets are reduced from fiscal 2012, but higher education funding will remain at current levels.
The Department of Health and Hospitals will receive an additional $680 million in fiscal 2013 to bring its total budget to $9 billion. The increase is due to more residents becoming eligible for Medicaid health insurance, according to Health Secretary Bruce Greenstein.
Health care and social services account for 38% of Jindal’s proposed operating budget, with 29% devoted to education.
The Legislature will convene March 12. Fiscal year 2013 begins July 1.
In a letter to lawmakers, Jindal said the budget will lead to economic growth in Louisiana.
“We are building a better Louisiana that is the best place in the world to raise a family, get a great education, and pursue a rewarding career, and this budget proposal is another critical step toward that goal,” he said.