BATON ROUGE, LA –Today, Attorney General Jeff Landry issued an official legal opinion declaring that the Revenue Estimating Committee must recognize revenue before Governor John Bel Edwards can contemplate its use in his Executive Budget Estimate.
AG Opinion 19-0038 answers a request from State Representative Lance Harris, a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and comes days before legislators must pre-file bills for the upcoming Legislative Session.
“The fiscal year 2020 forecast, as adopted by the REC at its June 26, 2018, meeting, is the ‘official forecast’ as contemplated by Louisiana Constitution Articles VII, § 10(B) and VII, § 11(A) because this is the most recently adopted estimate of money available for appropriation for fiscal year 2020,” opined General Landry.
“The Constitution requires that the Governor submit a budget containing revenues ‘which shall not exceed the official forecast of the Revenue Estimating Conference.’ The Governor clearly violated this provision when he intentionally submitted a ‘Proposed Budget’ to JLCB which contained revenues in excess of the official forecast for fiscal year 2020,” continued General Landry.
“Since the Proposed Budget does not satisfy the requirements of Louisiana Constitution Article VII, § 11(A), the general appropriation bill referenced in Section §11(B) cannot be constitutionally filed using the Proposed Budget,” concluded General Landry.
A copy of the Opinion can be found in the More Resources Box above.