Louisiana’s Revenue Estimating Conference deferred action last week on a proposal by Gov. Bobby Jindal to increase the state’s official revenue estimate for fiscal 2012. The panel will meet in April or May to reconsider the revision.
The inaction by the conference leaves the official fiscal 2012 revenue estimate at the $7.82 billion level adopted by in June.
Greg Albrecht, chief economist for the Legislative Fiscal Office, said he has revised his revenue estimate up by $140 million. Manfred Dix, economist for the Office of Planning and Budget, proposed an increase of $114 million.
Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, the governor’s chief budget aide, sought to have the $114 million revision accepted. However, none of the other three members agreed.
Revisions of estimated revenues by the panel must be unanimous, so Rainwater’s attempt failed and the current estimate remains in place.
House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Tarrytown, said he wanted to wait until later in the fiscal year to revise next year’s forecast. He said the panel had to revise its 2010 official estimate several times due to declines in monthly revenue.
“We will have better information in June,” Tucker said. “I’m still bruised from the ride we took last year.”
Revenues in fiscal 2012 are predicted to be $433 million more than in fiscal 2011, but the loss of federal stimulus funds and increased social service spending is expected to cause a $1.6 billion shortfall next year.
Jindal is scheduled to deliver a proposed state operating budget for fiscal 2012 to lawmakers on March 11. The Legislature will convene April 25.