Gov. John Bel Edwards has struck from the state’s construction budget $12.5 million in funding for the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center’s planned Mid City clinic and urgent care.
Edwards, in a veto message posted to the state Legislature’s website, says he used his line-item veto to strike a total of $77 million in proposed projects from the construction budget, The Associated Press reports.
The funding for OLOM would have paid for the planning and construction of the clinic.
Saying the state can’t afford all the projects legislators packed into the bill, Edwards gave the ax to 36.
Lawmakers added $115 million in construction budget projects beyond what the Edwards administration initially proposed, worsening the gap between available dollars and the items jockeying to receive financing.
The state is limited in how much money it can borrow through bond sales annually, and the construction budget is stuffed with more projects than Louisiana can afford, meaning the projects will be in the pipeline for years and some may never get financing.
“In an effort to establish realistic expectations given the state’s limited bond capacity, I have vetoed items from this bill totaling ($77M),” Edwards wrote in his veto letter.
However, even with the governor’s vetoes, the state still won’t be able to advance all the remaining projects in the budget bill. The Edwards’ administration will choose which ones are advanced to the State Bond Commission for financing in the budget year that begins Saturday.