What took place in the final hour of last week’s 2009 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session was insane at best. Who on earth would sign a $28 billion budget in less than an hour?
The money in the capital outlay budget is, simply put, yours – tax dollars from your hard-earned money.
How someone spends other people’s money is very telling.
When private citizens misuse their employer’s finances, they are charged with various crimes, required to pay restitution and/or serve prison time. Yet, legislators get a free pass should they mishandle state funds.
We can’t undo what our elected officials have done, but can only hope that we live long enough to witness prudence in legislative spending one day.
Let’s see how much funding landed in the Red Stick coffers. (Monies for facilities located in the parish that are state-specific are not included in the list below. They include facilities such as: LSU, Southern, DOTD, CRT, Homeland Security, the Old State Capitol, State of Louisiana Offices or facilities, School for the Deaf, School for the Visually Impaired, airport, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, levees, etc.)
- $16,000,000 Pennington Biomedical (page 43)
- $13,500,000 Comite River Diversion Canal (page 28)
- $6,000,000 19th Judicial Court House (page 123)
- $5,455,000 La 3030 Road Improvements (page 25)
- $4,600,000 River Center Expansion, Renovation, Parking (page 80)
- $4,000,000 Capitol City Family Health Center (page 112)
- $4,000,000 Pecue Lane / I-10 Exchange (page 26)
- $4,000,000 I-12 to O’Neal Lane Widening (page 27)
- $3,000,000 Baker Fire Station (page 79)
- $2,600,000 Office of Homeland Security (page 17)
- $2,275,000 Zachary Sewer Programs (page 108)
- $1,440,000 Black History Museum & Cultural Center (page 119)
- $1,400,000 Baseball Stadium Improvements (page 80)
- $1,325,000 BREC’s Anna T. Jordan Site & Facility (page 114)
- $1,160,000 BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center (page 114)
- $1,000,000 Stumberg Lane to Jefferson & Airline (page 80)
- $1,000,000 Athletic Education & Band Center (page 125)
- $875,000 BREC Children’s Museum (page 114)
- $850,000 YMCA North Baton Rouge (page 113)
- $700,000 Old Goodwood Sewer Improvements (page 80)
- $600,000 Hooper Road Sewer Improvements (page 79)
- $400,000 USDA Biological Facility (page 129)
- $310,000 Fire Marshall (page 32)
- $300,000 LASC (page 14)
- $250,000 CASA Facility (page 116)
- $200,000 Hwy 19 Lane Improvements (page 16)
- $198,361 Visitor Signage (page 80)
- $190,000 Crime Lab Expansion (page 34)
- $155,000 McKinley High (page 112)
- $140,000 Annison Plantation Renovation (page 108)
- $100,000 Central Administration Building (page 108)
- $100,000 BREC’s Rollins Road Park Basketball Court Cover (page 114)
- $90,000 Progress 63 Senior, Veteran, Tutoring Center (page 132)
- $75,000 Stanford Avenue Sidewalk Widening (page 80)
- $75,000 Pride Fire Station (page 80)
- $50,000 BREC’s Pete Goldsby Renovations (page 114)
- $50,000 Habitat for Humanity Metro Aire Shopping Ctr (page 120)
This list along is roughly $78.4 million for the Red Stick, but The Advocate shows more which may be buried in the budget. It is true that earmarks were the order of the day on the final day of the legislative session, and East Baton Rouge Parish was no exception.
Where does it stop?
Do you know anyone who can continue to dip into their Rainy Day Fund and not eventually run out of money? Is there anyone you currently know that has not made some form of cutbacks to their budget?
I do. They are our legislators.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican