- Associated Press - Thursday, May 25, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - House lawmakers refused to give a protected, $2 million annual stream of state cash to the Louisiana inspector general’s office that investigates government fraud and waste.

Rep. Julie Stokes, a Kenner Republican, said her constitutional amendment would promote independence for the watchdog agency by making it less vulnerable to cuts.

She said it made little sense for the inspector general to rely on the Legislature for funding, noting that some lawmakers have sought to shutter the office entirely in recent years.

But a majority of her colleagues objected to the protection move, with opponents saying it would limit their ability to make budget decisions.

Only 40 lawmakers voted for the proposal Thursday, while 52 opposed it. The constitutional amendment required 70 votes to pass.

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House Bill 443: www.legis.la.gov


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