Bond Commission backs Jindal plan for surplus cash

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget has received the backing of the State Bond Commission.

The plan is a budget sleight of hand, using dollars that are limited in how they can be spent, to pay off debt early. The maneuver frees up the same amount of unrestricted money in next year's budget to spend on general operating expenses.

Treasurer John Kennedy suggested Thursday the plan violates the spirit of the state Constitution. He said it will create a hole a year later because the state will have another debt payment to make and the one-time and surplus dollars will be gone.

But Kennedy was the only Bond Commission member to vote against moving ahead with the debt pre-payment.

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