Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement on the projected $500 million budget surplus for Fiscal Year 2019.
“This is great news for Louisiana. As I have said before, a budget surplus is much better than the $2 billion budget deficit I inherited when I came into office,” said Gov. Edwards. “Louisiana is experiencing budget stability for the first time in a long time, its highest ever personal income, a record high GDP and an improving economy. All of these factors are driving our state finances in the right direction and will allow us to reinvest in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, make needed repairs to our bridges and roads, address deferred maintenance at our colleges and universities, and fund coastal and drainage issues as well as other critical projects across the state. This will also help the state grow more jobs and build an even better economy.”
Division of Administration Commissioner Jay Dardenne explained during the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget meeting that the surplus is the result of several factors including higher personal and corporate incomes and a growing economy.
The surplus dollars can only be used on six options including: the Rainy Day Fund, unfunded accrued liability, bond payments, transportation, capital outlay and coastal projects.
Upon coming into office in 2016, Gov. Edwards inherited a budget deficit of $2 billion. Under his administration, that deficit has been turned into surpluses, Louisiana’s economy is outperforming what was anticipated, more people are working, and we have the lowest unemployment in more than a decade.