Louisiana’s new legislative leaders inherit $86M surplus

State News

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the governor’s chief budget adviser, left; House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, center; and Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, speak ahead of a meeting of Louisiana’s income forecasting panel on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana lawmakers are sitting on $86 million in off-the-books surpluses in their agencies.

The House and Senate’s new leaders say they haven’t decided how they want to spend the money that has been quietly amassing for years.

The dollars aren’t regularly discussed in budget hearings.

Their existence is tucked away in annual financial reports for the House, Senate and other legislative agencies that were recently filed by the legislative auditor’s office.

The surpluses’ size approaches the $96 million allocated this year for legislative operations.

Top lawmakers say they would consider steering some of the cash to needed repairs on the exterior of the Louisiana Capitol.

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