Governor Jindal Vetoes Loop Funding

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By Beth Fussell

As a part of House Bill 2, the Louisiana House of Representatives voted to include funding for another study for the Baton Rouge Loop.  The Senate removed the item before passing the bill, but the funding was replaced when the bill went to committee.  On June 24th, House Bill 2 was sent to Governor Jindal for his signature, with one million dollars (plus another 5 million in borrowed funds) in Loop study funding attached.  Representatives Bodi White and Clif Richardson have both been against the Loop and more funding for its study.  Representative White had been in touch with the Governor on this issue, and he stated last week that he was confident that Jindal would exercise his right to line item veto the Loop funding.

As predicted by Representative White, Governor Jindal line item vetoed the Loop study funding when the House Bill 2 was signed into law on Friday, July 2nd.  In his Veto Message for House Bill 2, the Governor had the following to say about the veto of the Loop funding:

Veto Message No. 3, Page 79, Lines 1 through 20:  "The Baton Rouge Loop- Phase 1 project request was not submitted timely and did not receive late approval as required by the LRS 39:112.  The state has scarce capital outlay and general fund dollars available to meet the capital outlay needs of our state.  It is therefore important that major projects such as this have the widest support possible and the consensus of the legislative delegation in the area.  That consensus has not thus far been achieved.  Without the consensus of the public and the legislative delegation, the success of the project is in question.  It would therefore be premature to fund the planning of such a large and controversial project until a consensus can be achieved.  Therefore, I am vetoing this item."