By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers are weighing whether to use Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to fill a $211 million gap in this year's budget.
House Speaker Chuck Kleckley said Thursday that the state could get $215 million from the fund, if two-thirds of the House and Senate agree. He says he's willing to look at using the money because he's worried that higher education and health care would face deep cuts otherwise that could damage services.
The state's forecasting panel downgraded income projections this week.
Only two months remain in the budget year, so lawmakers have to rebalance this year's spending plan quickly because the fiscal year ends June 30. The less time left in the year, the harder the cuts are to make because agencies have spent much of the money they expected.