- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - In addition to a nearly $26 billion spending plan for next year, the Louisiana House approved Friday a package of corresponding bills that would finance construction projects and pay for the legislative and judicial branches.

Budget bills backed by the House and headed to the Senate for consideration would:


The House agreed to a heavily trimmed-down version of the construction budget, known as the capital outlay bill, that would finance projects for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The more than $3 billion budget would finance projects over several years. Last year’s version was $2 billion larger.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, said the state is so over-committed in projects that it would take a decade to pay for everything that already received lines of credit. Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed shaving projects out of the bill and spending more on roadwork and state building maintenance. Abramson and the House went further, taking out even more.

“At the end of the day, this is just getting our capital outlay budget right-sized,” Abramson said.

Several lawmakers objected to their local projects being removed from the proposal, but that wasn’t enough to stall the budget measure. Lawmakers voted 80-14 for the bill, sending it to the Senate for consideration. (House Bill 2)



Lawmakers agreed to spend $86 million on a budget to finance the House, Senate and other legislative agencies in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The legislative budget would shrink from $96 million this year as the state continues to grapple with financial gaps. The House voted 98-0 for the proposal. (House Bill 1049)



The House agreed to a nearly $164 million budget to finance the Louisiana Supreme Court and other parts of the state judiciary for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That would cut spending from $187 million this year, which Supreme Court officials warned could damage some services like drug courts across the state. The House voted 98-0 for the proposal. (House Bill 616)


House Bills 2, 616 and 1049: www.legis.la.gov

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