Gov. Bobby Jindal is recommending a $25 billion budget for next year that increases spending on colleges, public schools and disabled services, as the state's finances are helped by an improving economy.
The governor's proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1 was outlined to lawmakers Friday. Legislators packed the hearing room despite icy weather that made travel difficult.
Jindal's spending plan is $624 million smaller than this year's budget, but mainly from the loss of one-time federal hurricane recovery and coastal restoration funds. State general fund revenue is growing.
The proposal would eliminate more than 1,000 jobs in state government, many of them vacant, while providing pay raises for thousands of rank-and-file state workers. However, those same employees face a recommended increase in their health insurance premiums.
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