Lawmakers’ push to take control of construction budget fails

Photo: MGN

Talk of change for the way Louisiana spends its construction budgeting money fizzled in the final days of the legislative session.

Instead, lawmakers went home with a construction budget overstuffed by $385 million that continues to give all project-selecting authority to the governor. For the upcoming budget year, Gov. Bobby Jindal will choose which projects should be advanced for lines of credit.

Senators refused to go along with changes sought by the House to give lawmakers more control over how the state prioritizes its limited construction dollars. The effort faced opposition from Senate President John Alario and the Jindal administration.

Rep. Kirk Talbot, a Republican from River Ridge, says he’ll push the idea again next year. He says the current system is broken, allowing governors to trade projects for votes.

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