BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With extra funds left over after last year, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says the money should be put toward important projects across the state.
Louisiana has a $120 million surplus of funds left over after fiscal year 2016 - 2017, in part because taxes generated more money than anticipated and oil prices changed.
The governor is proposing putting a good chunk of that, about $40 million, toward roads and bridges. In the Baton Rouge area, that includes replacing bridges in Greensburg, making repairs on the I-110 ramps near Convention Street and Florida Boulevard, and upgrading a pumping station on Acadian Thruway near the railroad underpass.
Beyond that, the governor is also proposing putting about $10 million toward repairing state buildings, including those on college campuses. There are currently about $3 billion worth of needed projects and repairs statewide.
"Because of the neglect that these buildings have faced for so long, our students are actually subjected to substandard and sometimes dangerous conditions. This is a problem that students and faculty and alumni and others have spoken to me personally," Edwards said. "While we cannot afford to do everything we'd like to do, we need to begin chipping away at these needs."
Under the governor's proposal, additional money would be put toward capital outlay projects, state employee pensions, local governments for local sewage and water projects, and the "Rainy Day Fund," which acts as a savings account for the state.
This plan now goes before the state legislature. They have the opportunity to change the proposal as they see fit.
The full list of proposed transportation projects the governor is proposing can be found below: