BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Year after year, when Louisiana didn't have enough money to cover its expenses, Gov. Bobby Jindal raided reserves — and preserved his pledge of no tax hikes.
Now, the Republican is running out of short-term patches and struggling to plug a $1.6 billion budget hole just as he seeks support for a possible 2016 presidential run.
Funding for higher education and health services are on track for deep cuts. And Jindal's successor will have to repay a string of debts and IOUs.
Jindal blames falling oil prices rather than his temporary fixes.
The numbers, however, don't back up the governor's explanation.
More than $1 billion of the shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1 can be tied to Jindal's refusal to match Louisiana's spending to its yearly revenue.