Gov. Bobby Jindal held a press conference yesterday to
address excess revenues the state is expected to see, largely tied to sky-high
oil prices. Like a parent withholding dessert, Jindal preached fiscal restraint
and responsibility to lawmakers.
"On Friday, the Revenue Estimating Conference is expected to
announce that we have a substantial amount of additional money available,”
Jindal said. “I want to be clear: when this announcement is made – our
absolute, number one, top priority must be to continue to pay down our state’s
current $420 million reliance on one-time revenues for recurring expenses.”
Jindal compared the budget he inherited, which uses $800
million in one-time funds for recurring expenditures, to “using your credit
card to pay your mortgage.” He urged lawmakers to work toward building a state
surplus with any additional one-time funds. “Building up a surplus for our
state is a sign of a healthy budget,” he said. “Just like when a family works
to build up savings for their own household. Savings will help us fund our
state’s priorities and also be available for any unanticipated needs that may
arise in the future.”
Meanwhile, state lawmakers already have formed their own proposals for spending any surplus funds, including a bill by a coalition of Acadiana legislators to refund any surplus to taxpayers. Another bill currently pending in the state House would do away with the state’s personal income tax – a bill that would eliminate 30 percent of the state’s revenue.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.