The spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 funds public hospitals, schools and other state services.
Jindal wants to sell and put the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport under the supervision of a private company to balance the budget.
The House Committee on Appropriations will hold public testimony beginning at 9 a.m. Monday through Tuesday on the proposed budget that goes into effect July 1. Afterward, the committee will consider what's expected to be a lengthy set of amendments before sending the bill to the full House for debate.
The controversial issue, HB850, legislation by Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, is scheduled for debate on the house floor Wednesday. The bill, which enables the sale and privatization of the Avoyelles Correctional Center, came out of the House Appropriations Committee on a 13-11 vote.
Jindal says selling the prison to a private operator would save the state millions of dollars each year.
Opponents say state-trained and employed prison guards do a better job of controlling inmates and that private prisons have security problems because low-paid guards don't care as much for their jobs.
Chairman Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, has also expressed concern about the use of non-reoccuring one-time dollars in HB1, the budget bill, and the funding in the bill that's contingent on the passage of other legislation. In the past several years, Fannin has led the committee in replacing wording in the bills with what he calls "real dollars."
Jindal also wants to eliminate a program that educates troubled youths, and merge some state offices.
Senior citizens’ groups are organizing buses of senior citizens to gather Monday at the State Capitol to voice their opposition to the proposed bill intending to merge the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs with the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Office of Aging and Adult Services.