Hidden cash? Louisiana Senate leader tries to track accounts
BATON ROUGE - As Louisiana struggles with budget woes, lawmakers are realizing millions remain socked away in savings accounts that agencies, boards and commissions never told them existed.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric LaFleur has been trying to get an accounting of what's out there.
In the legislative session that starts Monday, LaFleur is proposing to make it tougher to create these escrow accounts and special bank accounts, to require more uniform policies governing them and to enact tighter tracking of them.
He says the money always should have been tallied as lawmakers look at an agency's expenses - and claims of budget shortfalls.
For example, he points to an audit that found $6 million from the prison rodeo at Louisiana State Penitentiary was never included in the annual corrections budget.