By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - While lawmakers grapple with ways to balance next year's budget, they may be confronted with a more immediate shortfall before this year ends.
More than $278 million plugged into previous spending plans backed by the Legislature have yet to materialize from expected property sales, insurance proceeds and legal settlements that Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration anticipated. That's according to an update from the Legislative Fiscal Office.
If the dollars don't show up, lawmakers could be scrambling to plug another budget gap this year when they return in April.
Michael DiResto, a spokesman for Jindal's Division of Administration, said Friday the administration is confident the state will get all the money included in this year's budget, and he says some of the dollars listed in the fiscal office tally are already available.
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