Economic Lockdown Decimates State’s Budget

$1 billion hit from coronavirus for Louisiana’s budget, early estimates show

By Sam Karlin – The (Baton Rouge, LA) Advocate

Louisiana’s budget is projected to take a $1 billion hit as the coronavirus hammers the state’s businesses and workers, according to economists who took their first stab at forecasting the financial toll Monday, with oil prices and sluggish sales taxes expected to drag the budget down dramatically.

The Revenue Estimating Conference, a panel that decides how much money the state has to spend on things like colleges, K-12 schools, health care and a host of other state services, voted to adopt a revenue forecast that is about $1 billion lower than the previous forecast.

That billion-dollar hit will take place in the budget year beginning July 1, and includes all types of revenue. The state general fund was downgraded by $867 million. Lawmakers are crafting the budget for that fiscal year in the ongoing legislative session.

Cratering oil prices did much of the damage to the budget. Albrecht projected oil prices at $28 and Manfred Dix, the economist for the Edwards administration, forecast oil at $32 a barrel. The REC adopted Albrecht’s forecast, which was similar to Dix’s but featured a slightly smaller total drop in all revenues.

The projection adopted by the forecast also revises revenues downward by $362 million in the current fiscal year, including $123 less in the general fund. That number is not larger because the state already experienced three quarters of decent numbers, Albrecht said.

Both economists said they were highly uncertain in their projections. It is not clear how many people will return to businesses even once they’re allowed to, among many other unknowns.

Business closures mandated by Gov. Edwards to slow the spread of the virus has led to unprecedented levels of unemployment.

When the host dies, the parasite has nothing upon which to feed.

2 Responses to “Economic Lockdown Decimates State’s Budget”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Parasite Heisenberg.

    • #Obamagate Says:

      Cmon, make your comments interesting at least. Even Walt himself could come up with better ones….I’m sorry, his self…

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