Lawmakers slash budgets, borrow, cut taxes

Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, and others of the Senate’s most conservative lawmakers questioned the borrowing in the bond bill, and the need to fund museums, zoos, parks and borrowing to help private companies, such as Ingalls shipbuilding on the Coast. McDaniel said the state has $4.4 billion in debt for which it had to make a payment of $484 million this year. He said the new borrowing would bring the annual debt service to more than $500 million.

“That’s more than enough money to fund education — make up the (MAEP) difference for more than two years,” McDaniel said. “… We’re borrowing $45 million to give to a Fortune 500 company (Ingalls).”

Sen. Michael Watson, R-Hurley, said “people have been running around with their hair on fire” about the need for road and bridge work, but the bill included very little borrowing for major infrastructure work.

The borrowing bill passed the Senate 46-6 and the House 108-9.

ClarionLedger
4/18/16