Council OKs legislative expenses

The Legislative Budgetary Control Council on Wednesday morning quickly approved a proposed $92.6 million budget for the Louisiana Legislature and its agencies.

The dollar amount is identical to that appropriated for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

The council-approved budget will be turned into legislation for consideration by the full Louisiana House and state Senate. The budget plan includes use of $69.2 million in state general fund revenues. The remaining $23.37 million is Legislative Auditor’s Office self-generated funds.

Here’s how the $92.6 million is divvied up:

Louisiana House — $27.6 million

Louisiana Senate — $20.7 million

Legislative Auditor’s Office — $32.7 million

Budgetary Control Council — $8.14 million

Legislative Fiscal Office — $2.4 million

Law Institute — $1 million.

There was little discussion and no debate over the spending plan.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera and interim Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter warned about the impact of the “standstill” budget.

Purpera said he is not replacing 11 positions because it would require a $700,000 to $800,000 increase in expenditures. He said he is also losing senior employees to other agencies as well as the business sector.

“The lack of salary increases is beginning to take a toll,” Carpenter said.

“I think that’s true in all of state government,” Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, said. “All employees have had the same burden.” He said he hoped some salary increases are on the horizon.