Published: April 5, 2023
By: Molly Ryan, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — The Legislature convenes Monday (April 10) for the start of the 2023 session, and lawmakers, blessed with a large budget surplus, are at odds about whether they should raise the state’s spending limit.
Thanks to an influx of federal dollars from hurricane and pandemic relief and an increase in revenue from a temporary 0.45 of a penny sales tax hike, the state is expected to have a $1.6 billion surplus, and the fight over the expenditure limit will greatly influence how much of that money is spent.
The state constitution requires a portion of the surplus to go into a rainy day fund and other savings, leaving the Legislature with about $500 million in additional spending power without exceeding the cap.
Sen. Gerald Boudreaux, D-Lafayette, chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, generally agreed with Cortez, noting that some parameters should be in place for lawmakers to raise the expenditure limit.
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