BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Senators sent the House on Thursday a more than $5.9 billion, multiyear state construction budget plumped up with so many Senate add-ons that it contains $400 million more in projects than the state can afford.
Louisiana has a cap on annual borrowing that limits spending on construction projects to $355 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration proposed a list of projects to use up all that capacity and $120 million more, when submitting the bill to lawmakers.
The House reworked those plans, stripping out many of the Jindal proposals and leaving the bill overcommitted by about $20 million.
But the Senate put the administration's projects back into the budget bill and added dozens more. By the time the Senate version was done, it included $400 million more in projects than the state has money to spend.
That would leave the governor's office to determine which projects would be submitted to the State Bond Commission for lines of credit.
The "capital outlay" bill also includes federal highway money and other funding sources set aside for state construction.
Senators voted 33-0 Thursday for the rewrite.
The House can either accept the Senate add-ons or send the budget bill to a six-member legislative committee to work out a final version. The legislative session must end by Monday.