We were deceived again
The response from the State Budget Officer was that the money could legally be used only for limited purposes.
According to LA R.S. 51:2365 which established the slush fund it is to be used for “economic development mega-projects which may be necessary in order to successfully secure the creation or retention of jobs by a business entity….” (Emphasis mine)
The law defines “mega-project” as “any project which will provide all of the following (Emphasis mine):”
(i) Five hundred new direct jobs to the state.
(ii) A minimum initial investment of one hundred million dollars by the private sector or the United States Government through the creation of a new facility or the expansion of an existing facility.
(iii) A substantial return on the investment by the state as measured by projected tax revenues.
(b) “Mega-project” shall also mean any project for a military or federal installation which is important to the Louisiana economy and that may be subject to base realignment and closure and purchase of land for a mega-project.”
As of February 13, 2009, the slush fund has been used for the following expenditures:
1. $48.6 Million for a “support workers raise.”*
2. $ 2.7 Million for ULM School of Pharmacy**
3. $ 1.5 Million for ULM School of Pharmacy**
*In 2008 Regular Session an amendment was added to the law to allow: “for Fiscal Year 2008-2009, the monies in the fund may be used to provide a one-time salary supplement for all school support personnel and nonpublic lunchroom employees eligible for state salary supplements….”
**Neither of the two expenditures for ULM appear to be legal.
The balance in the slush fund as of February 13, 2009, was $414,893,935.00.
Now you know what Bobby Jindal, Stephen Moret and the leges think is “economic development” because the law required them to approve the above expenditures.
We were sold a slush fund disguised as a fund for economic development.
You now know that the law in Louisiana doesn’t mean a thing especially not to those who make them.
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