LABI Logo Get Involved

Budget Basics

Did you Know…

  1. The Louisiana Legislature appropriated more than $25 billion in the current fiscal year – a state budget that is 44 percent larger than 10 years ago and represents the highest per capita spending among states in the South?
    1. Action Item: Enact cost controls on spending so that the state doesn’t find itself in another deficit in a few short years.
  2. Most of Louisiana’s $25 billion state budget is considered off-limits to annual review or reductions?
    1. Action Item: Eliminate most statutory dedications and allow for annual prioritization of spending.
  3. More than $100 million is earned in interest every year on statutory dedications that are not allowed to remain in the State General Fund where it is invested?
    1. Action Item: Require interest earned on dedications to remain with the State General Fund.
  4. Louisiana sends more than $6 billion of the $25 billion annual budget back to local government and school districts?
    1. Action Item: Review and reduce ALL government spending, including the portion that is sent to the local government.
  5. Funding for K-12 schools has not been reduced in any of the recent deficits? In fact, spending has increased by more than $900 million in State General Fund for schools over the past decade?
    1. Action Item: Review ALL government spending and avoid additional reductions in areas of the state budget that have been repeatedly scrutinized, instead focusing on areas where costs and funding continue to grow.
  6. The Medicaid budget for Louisiana has increased by more than $1 billion over the past decade, just in the State General Fund share?
    1. Action Item: Seek reforms to the Medicaid program that can improve access and quality of care while also controlling the exponential growth in costs of services.
  7. Nearly half of the state’s bond debt for capital construction is NOT spent on state projects, but on local projects or non-public entities? In fact, Louisiana is one of only 8 states that allow private organizations to make a request for state capital dollars?
    1. Action Item: Reform capital outlay so that state tax dollars fund statewide infrastructure priorities.
  8. The judicial budget for Louisiana’s courts increases every year, even in times of deficit?
    1. Action Item: Review ALL government spending, even when it occurs in other branches of government.
  9. Higher education in Louisiana is largely funded as a block grant with little emphasis on outcomes or performance, even as the state experiences some of the lowest graduation rates in the country?
    1. Action Item: When stabilizing funding for higher education, ensure there are appropriate mechanisms for transparency and accountability to drive better outcomes.
  10. The state budget still includes funding for various non-governmental organizations, either as line items or through statutory dedications?
    1. Action Item: Review and reduce ALL government spending, even if the dollars are in small amounts.
  11. Louisiana incarcerates more people per capita than any other state – and at a cost that goes up year after year?
    1. Action Item: Enact bipartisan smart-on-crime reforms that promote public safety while also controlling costs and allowing investments in other state priorities.
  12. Hundreds of millions of dollars in Louisiana’s budget divert State General Fund for a specific purpose, leaving higher education and healthcare exposed for reductions during times of deficit.
    1. Action Item: For example, a technology fund channels $10 million of taxpayer funds annually into a permanent dedication that will never be re-evaluated to determine if those technology needs have been met?
  13. The state’s budget deficit projections assume that all inflationary needs will be funded every year?
    1. Action Item: Require agencies to absorb the cost of inflation during a deficit, choosing instead to mitigate reductions in high-priority areas.
  14. Louisiana’s liabilities for retired workers is more than $19 billion – and the cost to the state goes up every year?
    1. Action Item: Overhaul state pension systems based on best practices from other states and the private sector.
  15. Louisiana’s taxes, licenses, and fees are already projected to increase every year for the next five years?
    1. Action Item: #FixGovtFirst before seeking to dramatically raise new revenue.