State debt collection bill heads to the state Senate

The House voted 92-0 to centralize and strengthen Louisiana’s efforts to collect hundreds of millions of dollars owed to state agencies in delinquent accounts.

House Bill 629 by state Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, would create a new debt recovery office in the Department of Revenue and give it the authority to revoke and suspend state-issued licenses for back debts.

Currently, the state has 174 agencies — and no unified collection system to handle all state government debts. The attorney general’s office collects back-owed debt for a few agencies that have contracts with them directly. But such contracts aren’t required.

Broadwater’s proposal heads next to the state Senate for debate.