Briefs from today's Louisiana Legislature session
BATON ROUGE - Legislation aimed at limiting diversions of state gasoline tax money away from road work started moving Monday in the state House.
Without objection, the House Appropriations Committee approved a measure (House Bill 208) by Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, that would place a cap on the dollars that can be moved from the gasoline tax trust fund to state police operations annually.
Under Landry's bill, up to $40 million from the Transportation Trust Fund could be spent on state police in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1. A year later, that would drop to $25 million. Every year after that, it would be limited to $10 million annually.
Lawmakers have grown concerned about the large sums of gasoline tax money paying for items other than transportation projects. Since 2011, $241 million has been steered to state police operations, even as the state has a $12 billion backlog of needed road and bridge repairs and improvements.
Landry's proposal moves next to the full House for debate.
The budget proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal for next year would spend $25 million more in trust fund money for the state police than is allowed under the bill. Lawmakers would have to rework that part of the budget if Landry's proposal wins final passage.