Tue April 30, 2013
One-time Funds Nixed from Budget, Temporarily
The House Appropriations Committee again called into question the way the Jindal Administration crafts the state’s budget.
On Monday the committee passed the budget bill and the funds bill, which allows for interagency transfers, the primary source of one-time funds.
The funds bill passed with unusually small margin, 10 to 13.
The House Appropriations Committee also approved an across the board 22 percent cut to spending that isn’t mandated by state law.
But the slash was procedural.
Chairman Jim Fannin said the cut isn’t likely to take effect. The Senate will probably put those funds back in the budget.
Because of a procedural rule passed in 2011, the House can’t pass a budget with one-time funds without a two-thirds vote. Removing the funds in committee speeds up the passage of the bill on the floor, Fannin said.
“It will be, from this committee, I think, in the best interest, when that time comes, to have it all out."
The Jindal Administration believes it’s irresponsible to remove the one-time funds. Administration critics say it’s irresponsible to include them in the budget. Commissioner Kristy Nichols argued all funds are “one-time funds,” because all funds are contingent on the governmental body that estimates the state's revenue.
“In effect," Nichols said, "I take those criticisms to be making the point that we haven’t cut enough.”
Both the budget bill and the funds bill will go before the House on May 9.