With a $1.6 billion surplus, lawmakers consider raising spending limit

Published: April 5, 2023

By: Molly Ryan, LSU Manship School News Service

State Senate President Page Cortez, speaking here on the Senate floor, says he supports raising a state spending limit to use a large projected surplus of funds. Credit: Alex Tirado/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, supports the governor’s proposal for a teacher pay raise of at least $2,000 a year. Credit: Alex Tirado/LSU Manship School News Service

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.

Read more at Verite News

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