A bid to centralize and strengthen efforts to collect back-owed debts to state agencies, in hopes of bolstering revenue for the state treasury, received backing from lawmakers and heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Estimates are the measure could generate as much as $200 million over five years.

House Bill 629 would create a new debt recovery office in the state Department of Revenue and give it the authority to revoke and suspend state-issued licenses for back debts, among other things. It will require agencies to refer all their delinquent accounts to either the attorney general’s office or the debt recovery office for collection.

Lawmakers said Louisiana has been too lax in seeking payment for back-owed debts, which are pegged at $1.4 billion.

A compromise version of HB629, sponsored by state Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, won final passage with a 95-0 vote of the House and 37-1 vote of the Senate.