Jindal, Kennedy budget dispute continues
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration says Treasurer John Kennedy's refusal to sign state borrowing paperwork could cost the state money and delay construction projects if a deal can't be reached soon. And the administration is asking lawmakers to put pressure on Kennedy.
Kennedy disputes the claim, saying no construction work is in jeopardy.
"The truth is we have more than $600 million available for capital outlay projects," he said.
The dispute centers on whether Louisiana ended last year with a budget surplus or deficit. Kennedy won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
"The Division is asking me to sign a document that could violate the anti-fraud provision of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Act. We are working on language to try to prevent that, and we have plenty of time to do a bond issue," Kennedy said.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says her office has submitted compromise language. She sent a letter to state lawmakers Thursday asking them to contact Kennedy and urge him to sign the borrowing paperwork.