Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal last week called on the Legislature to avoid creating new targeted spending mandates, which he said would “hinder budgetary flexibility, limit options for spending reductions, and restrict the proper management of the state’s finances during changing economic conditions.”
Several bills currently before lawmakers would establish constitutionally mandated expenditures or dedicate special funds to certain projects. Jindal said the budget already contains dedicated funding mechanisms for such areas as coastal protection, transportation, and public education.
“For too long our state has looked for more and more ways to spend taxpayer money — sometimes before we even had it,” the governor said at a news conference.
Of the $9.2 billion in general fund spending proposed in the governor’s executive budget for fiscal 2009, $4.9 billion is non-discretionary. Of the $4.3 billion in discretionary funding, $3.3 billion goes to education and health care.