State ends budget year with $113 million surplus

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana has a $113 million surplus leftover from the last budget year, after the state's financial books

have been closed and audited.

The figure was outlined Friday to lawmakers on the joint House and Senate budget committee.

The surplus is $30 million less than previous estimates for the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended June 30. Barry Dusse, director

of the governor's Office of Planning and Budget, said the adjustment is tied to reconciliation of the financial books.

Lawmakers will decide how to use the surplus in the legislative session that begins in April.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration wants the

money to cover a $94 million gap in Louisiana's Medicaid program, in a

budget

maneuver that would spend the dollars on one-time items and

thereby free up state general fund money to fill in the Medicaid

shortfall.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin says the dollars must replenish the state's "rainy day" fund under the

law.