Another $48M taken from roadwork, steered to plug deficit
BATON ROUGE- Despite a multibillion-dollar list of transportation needs, Gov. Bobby Jindal has swiped $48 million that would have been used on roadwork to instead plug this year's budget deficit.
The maneuver was backed by lawmakers on the joint House and Senate budget committee last week. It received little public discussion and came after months of campaign promises during the election cycle that such sidetracking of road money should end.
Nearly all the money, about $46 million, came from the Transportation Trust Fund that contains state gasoline and fuel tax income. The remaining cash came from vehicle registration and license fees and taxes.
The Jindal administration said diversion of the transportation money helped shield colleges and other areas from deep cuts.
Louisiana has a $12 billion backlog of road and bridge needs.