BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — After sifting through the state's accounting figures, lawmakers say Louisiana is sitting on a pool of about $179 million in unspent cash that can help them with continuing budget problems.

A vote of the joint House and Senate budget committee Friday put to rest an ongoing dispute over whether Louisiana ended the last budget year with a surplus or deficit.

The committee agreed that the state spent $167 million more than it took in during the fiscal year that ended June 30. But it also agreed that Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration had found $346 million in unspent funds that hadn't properly been accounted for over many years.

The bottom line? The money helped close the deficit from last year, leaving $179 million remaining to steer toward looming budget gaps.