The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana is urging Gov. Bobby Jindal, faced with a $1.6 billion budget hole for the coming fiscal year, to leave the Coastal Protection and Restoration fund alone. It will be a hard sell, no doubt, in light of the governor’s penchant for “fund sweeps” — moving funds from unrelated programs into the general fund to shore up the budget.
Part of PAR’s argument is that raiding the Coastal Fund would give credence to Uncle Sam’s position that Louisiana and other Gulf states shouldn’t get a larger cut of offshore drilling royalties because they can’t be trusted with the money: “The state’s commitment to disciplined coastal spending could be questioned by Congress, other states, the authorities allocating the various BP settlements, stakeholder groups and the general public,” the group writes in an introduction to the position paper.
Read it here.