State government is getting into the paid parking business in downtown Baton Rouge.

The Jindal administration has opened the LaSalle Parking Garage to public parking -- for a price: $2 an hour, up to $10 a day.

The garage is located at 617 North Third St. in the same structure that houses the YMCA’s downtown branch.

The garage is currently used by the Y, the LaSalle State Offices, the Hampton Inn and a private company in the newly-constructed IBM building.

There are still about 300 parking spots that the administration said “are currently under utilized.”

“This is a great opportunity for the state to provide much needed parking availability to a growing economic sector in Baton Rouge while also generating revenue for Louisiana,” Commissioner of Administration Stafford Palmieri said in announcing the move.

The garage will be cash only and will use an automated payment system. An ATM machine will be installed in the garage for public use.

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