Republican House Speaker Jim Tucker has appointed first-term Democratic state Rep. Rickey Hardy to the House Appropriations Committee.

Widely regarded as the most powerful committee in the House, the panel deals with the state budget and other fiscal matters (see below). It is chaired by Democratic state Rep. Jim Fannin of Jonesboro. Hardy joins Acadiana Republican lawmakers Page Cortez of Lafayette and Simone Champagne of Jeanerette on the panel. Like Tucker, independent state Rep. Joel Robideaux of Lafayette is an ex-officio member because he is speaker pro-tem of the House.

Legislative instruments, messages, petitions and other matters relating to the following subjects fall under the Appropriations Committee’s jurisdiction:
• Appropriation of state funds
• Expenditure of funds
• General appropriation bill
• Deposit and investment of public monies, including the creation or modification of any special fund in the state treasury to which proceeds from state taxes, fees, or other charges are dedicated
• Cash flow
• Study of economy and efficiency in the operation of government at all levels
• Budgetary requirements and procedures
• Central purchasing
• Fiscal controls
• Comprehensive state capital budget, after initial consideration by the Committee on Ways and Means
• Professional, personal, and consulting services procurement
• Public bid laws and public contracts

Hardy had to resign from the House Commerce Committee to accept the assignment.

Tucker, of Terrytown, made the appointment this week in a letter to Hardy.

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