Out of office, Jindal looms over Louisiana budget crisis

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Bobby Jindal left the governor’s office nearly two months ago, but his legacy permeates a special legislative session aimed at digging Louisiana out of deep financial troubles.

Louisiana’s worst budget crisis in nearly 30 years threatens colleges with cuts that could shutter campuses and puts health services for the poor and disabled at risk of elimination.

State leaders blame the Republican ex-governor for creating — and hiding — many of the budget woes.

Jindal, burnishing his conservative credentials for his failed presidential campaign, refused to hike taxes or approve actions that resembled a tax hike. He also wouldn’t cut expenses enough to match Louisiana’s income.

Criticism of Jindal is bipartisan and widespread, with irritated lawmakers left sifting through the highly-unpopular choices of raising taxes or taking a hatchet to services.