Louisiana House leader: Surplus should refill rainy day fund
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's House speaker wants to use the lion's share of a $100 million-plus state surplus expected from the last budget year to repay the "rainy day" fund, which was used during the year to pay agency expenses.
Lawmakers took $99 million from the fund, rather than make deep cuts, to plug an anticipated budget gap in the 2016-17 financial year that ended June 30. But apparently the income forecast for that year had been too conservative.
A state economist told Louisiana's forecasting panel Thursday that tax collections exceeded revenue projections by about $140 million. The estimate is preliminary and still needs to be compared against spending levels to determine the final surplus figure.
House Speaker Taylor Barras says the rainy day account should be refilled with the surplus.