State construction budget now overcommitted by $400 million

A Senate committee Sunday piled more projects into the state construction budget.

House Bill 2, the capital outlay budget for the fiscal year that starts in July, now contains $400 million more in projects than the state can afford. Gov. Bobby Jindal would decide which projects move forward.

The Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs spent little time on the legislation, quickly advancing it to the full Senate after tacking on 67 pages of amendments.

The $3.4 billion, multi-year budget was overcommitted by $34 million when it reached the committee. The overage quickly swelled to $400 million.

Among the projects added: $6 million in improvements to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, $3.5 million for a New Orleans airport study and $1 million to renovate A.O. Williams Hall at Baton Rouge’s Southern University.