$200M borrowing plan tied up in surplus dispute
BATON ROUGE - A dispute over whether Louisiana ended last year with a budget surplus threatens to delay borrowing needed to keep state construction work on track.
Treasurer John Kennedy said Friday he won't sign financial documents needed for the $200 million in borrowing until he believes they accurately depict the budget picture. Otherwise, he said he could run afoul of anti-fraud laws.
Kennedy wants the documents to make clear that there is disagreement over the surplus figure.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's chief budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, says her office submitted language clearly explaining the additional cash reserves the Jindal administration identified as a $179 million surplus.
Kennedy says the calculation method strays from Louisiana's regular accounting practices, which would show a deficit last year.
Nichols says Kennedy is risking delays in construction work.