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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:20 AM

Budget proposal released

The Jindal administration kicked off a months-long state budget debate Friday by presenting a $24.7 billion budget that relies on the finalization of contracts involving public hospitals, property sales and other unresolved issues.

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“We’re proud of this budget even though this budget certainly has been a challenge,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols told members of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

Nichols said the Jindal administration had to hold the line on cost increases and find offsets because of a $1.3 billion shortfall in the revenue needed to keep state government services at their current level.

No new State Police troopers would be trained for another year. Several thousand state government workers could be out of a job. College tuition would rise by $75 million to help balance universities’ budgets. More than $1 million would be saved by no longer helping the elderly apply for free medicine through pharmaceutical company programs.

More at http://theadvocate.com/home/5256618-125/state-budget-proposal-released .

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