Capital outlay funds not yet allocated

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 22, 2012

BATON ROUGE — Concordia Parish wasn’t even mentioned when the state commission that dishes permission to spend money met Thursday, but that’s not a bad thing.

The State Bond Commission, which reviews and approves applications from parishes or municipalities requesting authority to incur debt, dealt only with routine business.

It refinanced public debt in 11 parishes and approved $17 million for projects statewide during its meeting Thursday.

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But none of those projects were from the state’s capital outlay funding plan that was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal last week.

While projects in the $4.3 billion, multiyear spending plan have to receive approval from the bond commission before getting funds, Sen. Neil Riser said it’s likely that won’t happen for several months.

“The projects from that bill just haven’t moved over yet,” Riser said. “We talked about when we would possibly start looking at those, but haven’t set an exact date.”

As chairman of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, Riser has a seat on the State Bond Commission, which meets once a month.

The projects in the bill are rated from priority 1, which are first in line for funding, to priority 4, which will be funded later.

Once the projects in the bill are moved over, Riser said the commission would begin approving priority 1 projects immediately.

“For now, it’s just normal business,” Riser said. “When things start moving out of HB-2, that’s when everyone will start watching it more carefully.”

Concordia Parish was allocated nearly $20 million in capital outlay funding.