The Citizen’s Guide to the FY 24 Louisiana Budget offers an overview and history of Louisiana’s operating and capital budgets, addresses the increase of the expenditure limit for fiscal years 2023 and 2024 and outlines how the state can begin to create a more responsible budget that is adaptable to the changing needs of Louisiana while enhancing the success of future tax reform. In addition to explaining the dollars and cents of the budget—and highlighting challenges that legislators face—the Citizen’s Guide makes recommendations for sound budgetary practices for the future, including limiting the growth of spending, freeing up budgetary silos, and responding to the pressure of raising taxes.

Finally, the Citizen’s Guide shows how Louisiana’s budget has grown unsustainably over the last decade, from the expansion of Medicaid in 2016 (and the associated sales tax increase) to the influx of federal dollars due to the pandemic and multiple natural disasters. While there have been massive influxes of federal dollars, the state’s coffers have grown significantly as well, increasing the amount of money available to spend in the state general fund.