Legislators advanced two proposed constitutional amendments Monday to help the state during rough economic times.
However, they balked at a Gov. Bobby Jindal-backed bill to allow deeper cuts to certain state funds during a budget deficit.
All three proposals came before the House Committee on Appropriations.
Senate Bill 147 by Senate President Joel Chaisson II, D-Destrehan, would ask voters to amend the state constitution to resolve a problem with the state’s “rainy day” fund.
The fund, formally called the Budget Stabilization Fund, was set up to tide the state over when money is tight.
Money withdrawn must be repaid, sometimes in the same year in which it was taken.
“It is clear that this fund has an unintentional fatal flaw,” Chaisson said.
He wanted to allow the state to repay the money over five years.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro objected.
“It goes so far, I think it’s going to be hard to get good government groups on board,” Fannin said.
He offered an amendment to require the state to repay the money within three years.
The amended bill advanced to the House floor.
Like SB147, Senate Bill 113 by state Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, is a constitutional amendment that would require the approval of two-thirds of the Legislature before going on the fall ballot.
The proposal delves into the money that can be cut during a state budget deficit.