Jindal presented a budget as by the Constitution, but it met with criticism in certain areas, some portion of it rightly so. The biggest of these were that it cut funding for higher education $221 million and for health care $150 million even as rolling back tax credit rebates were to bring in $526 million, although $377 million of that came in the form of the inventory tax credit would cause in the aggregate businesses’ tax to rise by that amount, because the tax is levied at the local level which the state could not change. To reduce the hit to higher education perhaps by half, the Jindal Administration suggested a convoluted plan to raise cigarette taxes, to increase college fees, then to pass through the proceeds of the tax to offset the fee. Jindal has said he will veto any tax increase that does not have an offset elsewhere. Also of some concern is that the partner entities operating the state charity hospitals want additional funding to continue providing services above and beyond their contractual obligations, estimated at $142 million.
What is presented here uses the executive budget as a baseline, as much of it presents a good framework. It then reshapes it so some degree, taking bills already introduced and some data associated with them, trying to address the valid concerns about workability and desirability of the policy options attached to it. Just as the present budget requires a slew of legal changes that eliminate the tax credit refunds, some also will be needed under this plan.