The Louisiana Senate voted Monday to put a $113 million surplus from fiscal 2012 into the Medicaid program rather than deposit the money into the rainy day fund as required by legislative rule.
The Senate amendments to House Bill 678 repeal an agreement last year with the House that pledged the 2012 surplus to the rainy day fund. The House agreed to a $200 million draw on the rainy day fund to repay a previous deficit in exchange for a repayment of up to $205 million.
The measure will be part of the budget reconciliation effort resulting the House’s rejection on Tuesday of changes in the Senate to the $25 billion proposed state budget for fiscal 2014.
The 2013 Legislature ends at 6 p.m. Thursday. A special session will be required if lawmakers cannot agree by then on a spending plan for the July 1 fiscal year.
The Senate approved a House proposal to allow a bond-financed development at the New Orleans convention center. House Bill 516 was amended to stipulate that tax-exempt bonds issued by the Ernest N. Morial-New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority will not be supported by the full faith and credit of the state.
The Authority could issue up to $92 million of bonds supported by its hotel tax for the $184 million Phase V project along the Mississippi River. The state would finance the remaining $92 million through the capital outlay program.