House lawmakers proposing changes to construction budgeting
BATON ROUGE - Year after year, lawmakers pack so many projects into Louisiana's construction budget that it leaves the governor to choose the favored ones.
Frustrated House members wanting more control over how the state prioritizes its construction spending are trying to change that.
The state construction budget passed by lawmakers each year has become a wish list, crammed with more proposals than the state has money to spend. That leaves the governor to decide which projects advance to the State Bond Commission for lines of credit.
Republican Reps. Jay Morris and Kirk Talbot are pushing bills to require legislative committee approval of project lists before they go to the Bond Commission.
The effort is advancing in the state House, but faces opposition from Senate President John Alario and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration.