Louisiana Community and Technical College System can issue $251.6 million of bonds for projects across the state with authority from legislation signed into law Monday by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Senate Bill 204 stipulates that the appropriation-backed bonds are not net state-tax supported debt and the 29 projects being funded are outside the state’s capital outlay program.
The state constitution prohibits debt service of more than 6% of annual revenues for state tax supported debt.
System president Joe May said $34.3 million of the $251.6 million program will come from local, private matching funds.
The community college system expects to sell approximately $80 million of the bonds in 2015, with debt service to begin in 2016. The authorization will be exhausted with sales of roughly the same size in 2016 and 2017, May said.
The bonds can be issued by the Louisiana Local Government Environmental Facilities and Community Development Authority or the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority.
Sen. Robert Adley, who sponsored the bill, said the conventional capital outlay program for state buildings is insufficient for the college system’s needs.
Jindal supported the bond bill despite opposition from Treasurer John N. Kennedy and university regents. At the signing ceremony in Alexandria, he said the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is a “critical pipeline for ensuring that we have highly skilled workers in Louisiana.”
Many of the projects include new workshops and training areas for students studying nursing, welding, aviation, construction, and information technology.