Louisiana has a $1 billion budget surplus and another $1 billion in remaining American Rescue Plan funds, said Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, who also is “optimistic” about the state’s financial outlook for next year.
Dardenne is the top official at the Louisiana Division of Administration, the management arm of the state government and the agency responsible for developing the state’s annual budget.
Speaking at the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday, Dardenne said low initial budget forecasts for the recent fiscal year ending June 30 and an influx of federal aid – both because of the COVID-19 pandemic – combined with a better-than-expected state economy in fiscal year 2021.
The result was extra money in state coffers after all bills were paid.
“The good news is the economy performed better than that forecast thought it would and the economy continued to do well throughout the year,” Dardenne said.
The main benefit of the state’s resilient economy, he said, was an increase in individual income tax and corporate tax revenues.
That doesn’t mean, however, lawmakers will have free rein over how to spend the revenue bonanza. The Louisiana Constitution has specific provisions relating to the surplus, including a requirement that will send nearly $350 million to the state’s Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund.
Dardenne said the constitution also requires 25% of the remaining $650 million to be saved for future budget shortfalls and another 10% must go toward … Continue Reading Full Story >>>