February 2, 2007
Reported by: Associated Press
State economists estimate Louisiana's budget could grow by more than 12% next year without breaching a constitutional cap on spending, as much as $1.4 billion in new budget growth.
That increase in the spending cap for the 2007-2008 budget year that begins July 1st could clear the way for lawmakers to plug millions of dollars into new projects and spending that have been blocked this fiscal year because Republican lawmakers refused to raise the spending cap.
Commissioner of Administration Jerry Luke LeBlanc, who is Governor Kathleen Blanco's chief financial architect, said the executive budget that the governor will unveil to legislators next month will be below the maximum spending allowed next year.
Lifting the cap requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, a barrier that Blanco's allies failed to clear during a contentious legislative session in December. House Republicans beat back several attempts to raise the cap, stalling the governor's attempts to spend excess tax revenue on road construction, debt repayment, public employee pay raises and other items.
The state has about $1.9 billion dollars available to spend, but only about 162 million of that can be appropriated before July first until the cap is hit and a two-thirds vote of the Legislature is needed. However, LeBlanc said a list of outstanding needs also will whittle away at the cap, including required education and prisoner spending.
Monday's solar eclipse will begin at 11:50 a.m. in Lake Charles. Lake Charles is far outside the path of total eclipse, but will have 71.4 percent coverage at the peak time of 11:21 p.m. The solar eclipse in will happen around the same time in Southwest Louisiana's five parishes, although there are some slight variations. Click HERE and scroll to the Google interactive map to see exact times in your area. TAKE NOTE: Times on the map are coordinated universal time. Use the graph in t...More >>
The Solar Eclipse that's been flooding your timelines, news feeds, and literally, almost every conversation you hear is less than a week away. If you plan on watching this natural phenomenon here is a list of some do's and don'ts for the 2017 Solar Eclipse provided by NASA: Do's: ALWAYS use your solar filters or "Eclipse Glasses" for viewing a partially eclipsed sun. Check your eclipse glasses for damage. (i.e. Scratches, holes, rips, tears, etc.) Keep an eye...More >>
Want to know exact specifics of Monday's Solar Eclipse in your area? Google Maps has teamed with the University of California-Berkley to build a graphic that shows what your area will look like during Monday's eclipse. You can also check out a Solar Eclipse timeline in Southwest Louisiana HERE. Click on the photo to access the graphic. Vox has built a similar simulator. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>