Legislation that seeks to rein in the cost of office space used by state government is heading to Gov. John Bel Edwards for approval.
The Senate quickly gave final passage to House Bill 812 on Tuesday with no discussion.
The bill aims to steer state offices back to state-owned properties or those already under long-term lease, instead of agencies spending money piecemeal to lease from outside entities.
State Sen. JP Morrell, a New Orleans Democrat who presented the bill for final passage, said the goal is to create a system that tracks vacancies and keeps agencies from entering into costly outside agreements.
During recent budget hearings, leaders testified that there was no central, consistently updated inventory of all available space or needed space for agencies.
The legislation would require Edwards’ administration to run an inventory of all state office space and come up with a plan for maximum utilization and report its findings back to a legislative budget panel.
It also would require a regular inventory of available or underused space that state agencies can then use to identify more efficient uses of space.
The Division of Administration would be required to notify agency heads of any space alternatives that the state already is paying for that could be suitable for their needs.