Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has allocated $60 million from the state’s Transportation Trust Fund to help cover costs associated with the State Police in fiscal year 2014-2015.
An estimated $570 million is currently available in the transportation fund for the 2014-2015 budget. This revenue is generated from the state’s 20-cents-per-gallon gas tax and state fees. The Louisiana Constitution permits up to 20 percent of the account to be spent on ports, parish roads, state flood control projects, and the State Police. The last transfer occurred three years earlier, prior to Jindal taking office, when $38 million was distributed from the transportation fund to the State Police.
However, recent criticism has emerged due to the state’s $12 billion backlog of necessary maintenance and modernization projects on the state’s roads, highways and bridges.
Senator Robert Adley (R-Benton), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, expressed his disapproval of Jindal’s move. “I like the State Police as much as anybody, but the people voted for the tax for their roads and that’s where it ought to be going.”
State Transportation Secretary Sherri LeBas said that the funding given to state police is directly tied into Louisiana’s roadways. “If they did not have this money, they may not be able to provide the enforcement measures to keep our traveling public safe.”