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Louisiana Closes Year With $100M Surplus

Louisiana surplus topped $100 million.

      Louisiana has a rare bit of good budget news: The governor's chief financial officer says the state ended the last budget year with a surplus topping $100 million.

     Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne outlined the better-than-expected finish to the 2016-17 budget year in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.

     He says Louisiana collected more money than projected from sales taxes and personal income taxes in the year that closed June 30.

     While the news is a bright spot for a state struggling through repeated shortfalls, Dardenne says the surplus won't help with the $1 billion gap looming in mid-2018.

     Surplus dollars, under Louisiana's constitution, can only be spent on one-time expenses, like debt payments and construction work. They can't be used to pay for agency operations or ongoing programs.