Gov. Bobby Jindal invited the press to the Governor's Mansion for a brief preview of his budget, which will be unveiled in full Friday morning before the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.
The budget totals $24.7 billion. The governor says that's a billion dollar decrease from last year.
The Dept. of Health and Hospitals will see a cut of about $50 million because of a drop in federal funds. Jindal says the budget for higher education will see reductions because of the privatization of some of LSU’s hospitals, but not in other areas.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's tax reform proposals may include raising the tobacco excise tax. Health officials have suggested raising the tax by a dollar per pack. A study shows raising the tax by that much would raise $223 million a year – that’s almost enough to have closed this year’s $240 million budget gap.
Jindal has said his tax reforms would be revenue neutral, replacing the income tax with higher sales tax.