BATON ROUGE, La. – While Gov. Bobby Jindal proposes ending the state income tax, he’s coming under increased fire for his practice of balancing the budget by raiding statutory funds dedicated to specific off-budget programs.
One such program is the Artificial Reef Development Fund, also known as the Rigs to Reefs Program. Since 2010, Jindal has taken $45 million from the fund to cover budget overruns, and after sitting on their hands for a few years, the commission that oversees the program is considering fighting against the governor who appointed them in order to recover the money.
The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission held a closed-door session today in Baton Rouge to consider filing suit. The board, which is entirely comprised of Jindal appointees, did not take any action on the matter Thursday, but its leaders say they are convinced that the governor’s use of the money violates the state Constitution.