Richardson file

Senate President John Alario, left, and LSU Economist Jim Richardson listen to news about the state's revenue picture during a meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference.

Jim Richardson, the LSU economist who has served on the panel that forecasts how much revenue the state will collect each year, has announced that he is stepping down from the role he's held for more than three decades.

"It's been a tremendous privilege to serve," Richardson said near the end of Tuesday's meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference.

The state Board of Regents quickly launched a search to replace Richardson. Under state law, his replacement must be "a faculty member with revenue forecasting expertise from a public or private university in the state." The Regents Board will solicit recommendations and submit three to five names for consideration.

The final decision is left to the governor, House speaker and Senate president.

"The Board looks forward to exercising this important duty," Board of Regents Chairman Robert Levy said in a news release. "We understand finding the best talent for this forecasting work is imperative to the transparent and fiscally responsible operation of our state. This decision will not be taken lightly."

Levy said he believes the board will have a list of nominees by March.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.