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      RS 49:308.5     

  

§308.5. Legislative review and recommendation on special funds and dedication of money

            A. The legislature hereby finds that due to the number of special funds in the state treasury that dedicate state revenue, it is difficult for the governor, the legislature, and the public to assess the benefit of the activities supported by such funds. In order to address this situation, the legislature finds that a system of transparency and accountability needs to be established and that the authority for such funds should be routinely reviewed. Unless the recommendations resulting from the review conclude that the benefit of the activities funded by monies deposited in such fund warrants the continuation of this method of funding, the legislature should take such action as is necessary to eliminate such special funds and the dedication of state revenues to such activities. Further, inducing competition for funding from the state general fund will put all activities on an equal footing and will allow the governor and the legislature to better prioritize funding.

            B.(1) The division of administration shall establish a procedure to assure that the activities supported by a special fund are subject to the same level of transparency and accountability as activities supported by the state general fund. The procedure shall include the annual submission of reports no later than December first of each year for all entities and activities supported by appropriations from the fund.

            (2) The reports shall be submitted to the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the division of administration. The reports to the division of administration shall be submitted electronically in a form and format as specified and established by the commissioner of administration. The division of administration shall publish the reports in an electronic database so as to ensure transparency and accountability.

NOTE: Paragraphs (B)(3) and (4) effective until July 1, 2020. See Acts 2018, No. 612.

            (3)(a) No later than October 1, 2017, and every two years thereafter, the division of administration shall submit a plan of special funds and dedications to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget that specifies at least fifty percent of the special dedicated funds in law as of the date of the submission of the plan. The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget shall review the plan and may add special funds to the plan submitted by the division of administration prior to approval by the committee.

            (b) The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget shall ensure that after two consecutive plans have been approved, all special funds established by law on the date of the submission of the second consecutive plan will have been approved in a plan at least once in the previous four years.

            (4) Once the plan for review of special funds is approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the Dedicated Fund Review Subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, hereinafter referred to as "the subcommittee", shall conduct a review of the special funds and dedications specified in each such plan, resulting in a recommendation for each specified fund in the plan. The subcommittee shall meet only on a day in which the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget is scheduled to convene.

NOTE: Paragraphs (B)(3) and (4) as amended by Acts 2018, No. 612, effective July 1, 2020.

            (3)(a) No later than October 1, 2017, and every year thereafter, the division of administration shall submit a plan of special funds and dedications to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget that specifies at least fifty percent of the special dedicated funds in law as of the date of the submission of the plan. The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget shall review the plan and may add special funds to the plan submitted by the division of administration prior to approval by the committee.

            (b) The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget shall ensure that after two consecutive plans have been approved, all special funds established by law on the date of the submission of the second consecutive plan will have been approved in a plan at least once in the previous two years.

            (4) Once the plan for review of special funds is approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the Dedicated Fund Review Subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, hereinafter referred to as "the subcommittee", shall conduct a review of the special funds and dedications specified in each such plan, resulting in a recommendation for each specified fund in the plan.

            C.(1) No later than fifteen days after the approval of the plan by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the subcommittee shall cause to be posted on the website of the Louisiana Legislature, notification of a hearing schedule which shall include a date for presentation and discussion of each specified special fund in the approved plan. Additionally, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget shall notify the commissioner of administration and the treasurer of the hearing schedule. The commissioner of administration shall notify any agency or entity receiving an appropriation from a special fund specified in the plan in the previous five fiscal years of the hearing schedule.

            (2)(a) No later than thirty days after the approval of the plan, the treasurer shall submit to the subcommittee a summary of the terms, sources, conditions, and uses of the special fund as required by law and a five-year history of the following:

            (i) Sources and amounts of revenue into the fund.

            (ii) Amounts appropriated or allocated from the fund and the recipients of each appropriation or allocation.

            (iii) Investments and earnings of the fund.

            (iv) Annual balance in the fund.

            (b) The treasurer or his staff shall be in attendance and available to provide information at any hearing that the subcommittee holds on any special fund.

            (3)(a) No later than thirty days after the approval of the plan, the head of each agency or entity receiving an appropriation or allocation from the special dedicated fund within the previous five years shall submit to the subcommittee the following:

            (i) Five-year history of the amount of the appropriation or allocation of the fund to the agency or entity.

            (ii) Detailed use of the fund in each of the previous five years in which the agency or entity received an appropriation or dedication from the fund, including the total amount of funding for each activity financed with the fund and the amount of financing for the activity from the fund.

            (iii) Outcomes or other relevant performance information for any activity receiving financing from the fund.

            (iv) If dedication is a fee, the cost of providing the service offset by the fee.

            (b) The head of the agency or entity, or his staff, shall be in attendance and available to provide information at any hearing on a special fund received by their agency or entity.

            (4) The subcommittee shall allow public comment on each special fund included in the plan.

            (5) The subcommittee may request any other information which the subcommittee believes is necessary in conducting the review of the special funds.

            D.(1) Following the review of each special fund as required in this Section, members of the subcommittee shall offer motions as are necessary to produce a report of findings and recommendations on each special dedicated fund reviewed. Such findings and recommendations may include but are not limited to no change to the fund, a change to the revenue source into the fund, a change in the amount dedicated into the fund, a change in the use of the fund, or elimination of the fund.

            (2) The subcommittee shall report the findings and recommendations to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget for review. The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget may recommend modifications to the report submitted by the subcommittee, however, such modifications shall be noted in the report along with any original findings or recommendations of the subcommittee.

            E. No later than February 15, 2018, and every two years thereafter, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget shall report the findings and recommendations of each biennial review to the presiding officer of each house of the legislature for electronic distribution to each member of the legislature, the governor, the treasurer, and the commissioner of administration.

            F. This Section shall not apply to or affect the laws which dedicate or otherwise provide for the use of the following money or the laws which provide for the following special funds in the state treasury:

            (1) Special funds or dedications of money received by the state or by any state board, agency, or commission which is protected by the Constitution of Louisiana and laws effectuating such special funds and dedications or special funds containing money which is not required by the constitution to be deposited in the state treasury pursuant to Article VII, Section 9(A) of the Constitution of Louisiana.

            (2) Special funds in the state treasury established solely as a requirement of the terms, conditions, or requirements of:

            (a) Grants, donations, or other forms of assistance.

            (b) Court or regulatory agency orders or judgments.

            (c) Contracts of the state or of its agencies, boards, or commissions, including contracts related to the issuance of bonds, notes, and other indebtedness.

            (3) Special funds and dedications of money provided by law for money received by or on behalf of a state board, agency, authority, or commission which is mainly composed of and represents members of a trade, business, or professional association from fees or assessments paid by the members of the trade, business, or professional association and which expends the money on market or product research and development.

            (4) Special funds and dedications of money provided by law related to the judiciary.

            (5) Special funds and dedications of money provided by law related to retirement funds.

            Acts 2009, No. 492, §1, eff. July 1, 2009; Acts 2017, No. 355, §2, eff. June 22, 2017; Acts 2018, No. 612, §16, eff. July 1, 2020.



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