Louisiana legislative agencies build $85M surplus

Louisiana’s legislative agencies have socked away hefty surpluses, quietly building up $85 million in the bank without mentioning the money in annual budget hearings.

The balances aren’t included in the yearly legislative spending plans. Instead, the surplus dollars are buried in the Legislature’s annual financial reports, the latest of which came out Monday.

Senate President John Alario says that a constitutionally separate branch of government should have fund balances in case a dispute with a governor stalls the legislative budget bill.

Some of the money is expected to pay for retirement obligations. The House reports it intends to spend some cash on renovations to the House chamber and committee rooms. Alario hopes a portion will pay for a new building to house the legislative auditor’s office.

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