Dardenne: Budget Limitations Mean Fewer Construction Projects In Louisiana
Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says there will be fewer construction projects in Louisiana for the next couple of years because of budget limitations. He says the bond commission only allows the state to borrow 6% of what funds the Revenue Estimating Conference says the state has.
“We’re constrained on what we can borrow to fund projects through general obligation bonds by an appropriate constitutional limitation on what we can borrow,” Dardenne said.
Dardenne says the capital outlay bill has become more of an extensive wish list than a plan of what the state can actually accomplish. He says just because a project is included in the construction bill doesn’t mean it will be completed because the funds may not be available.
“The demand, though, is not decreasing. We’re 1,400 requests for capital outlay in the current year, totaling $3.6 billion,” Dardenne said.
Dardenne says lawmakers are having to prioritize projects with what dollars they have to use for construction. He says they didn’t want to add to college campuses’ financial burdens, so they did not include new campus projects in this year’s construction bill.
“We did not include any new construction projects on college campuses in the capital outlay bill this year. The focus is going to be on maintaining and repairing and improving what we already have,” Dardenne said.