$450 Million Dollar State Windfall, And NONE For North Louisiana?
At the recent Revenue Estimation Conference, the state found a massive surplus of $450 million dollars. $350-million for the current fiscal year, and another $100-million for the fiscal year that starts July 1st. The Governor’s Office has some ideas on how to best spend revenue surpluses revealed Monday by the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says there are a lot of good uses for that extra money… very little of which reach above Baton Rouge. Here are some current projects that seem to be on the books:
A new I-10 Bridge in Lake Charles
Completing I-49 south to New Orleans
Teacher Pay Raise
Hazard Pay raise for emergency workers
Now those are all worthy projects I'm sure... and kudos on the pay raises for emergency works, but these are not the only things that need to be addressed state-wide. STATE-WIDE... there ARE tax payers that live and work north of Alexandria.
There's a huge argument to be made that I-20 from the Texas border to Louisiana Downs drastically needs to be resurfaced. As anyone who's driven from Texas into Louisiana on I-20 can attest, you can literally tell when you cross the state line.... with your eyes closed. In addition to I-20, there are several roads/highways that need to be addressed, including Youree Drive/Highway 71. And even though I know it isn't as traveled as it used to be, but Highway 1 needs some major work done, pretty much from south of Shreveport, all the way to 190. It is a pleasant, much more scenic route south, especially when traveling on a motorcycle.
How about the major disparity of funding within the LSU system? I'm a huge LSU fan, and I, of course, understand the difference between LSU BR and LSU-S when it comes to student population and funding generated. But I know there are issues at LSU-S that need to be addressed, including building maintenance and upgrades, as well as staff, equipment, and programs.
These are just a few of the things we could use some of that STATE money for, I'm sure there are several others. But, what can we do to get Baton Rouge to recognize north Louisiana? Well... that's the $450 million dollar question.
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