BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana officials have set a conservative estimate for next year’s income forecast that anticipates the state’s economy will remain sluggish amid a halting recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

State tax collections have come in stronger than expected so far during the virus outbreak. But uncertainty remained strong enough that the Revenue Estimating Conference on Tuesday cut the forecast for the budget year that begins July 1.

Louisiana still is projected to collect more taxes next year than this year, but not enough to offset all the federal coronavirus aid Gov. John Bel Edwards and lawmakers used to piece together this year’s budget. The depth of the gap isn't yet clear.

(Story written by Melinda Deslatte/AP)