Voters this fall may decide the fate of a lawsuit over the state’s $646 million rainy day fund. Baton Rouge attorney Kyle Keegan said a constitutional amendment on the Oct. 22 ballot may make the lawsuit he filed last year against the state moot.
The amendment aims to fix a part of the Louisiana Constitution that requires an almost-immediate repayment of money taken from the fund. The lawsuit seeks to force legislators to comply with the current state constitution instead of using a state law that grants more time to repay the fund. “We don’t actually care how the problem gets fixed, whether the Legislature fixes the mistake themselves or the court does it for them,” Keegan said.
The problem involves when legislators must repay money they withdraw from the state’s rainy day fund. The rainy day fund — formally called the Budget Stabilization Fund — was set up to tide the state over when revenue falls short. Two years ago, legislators took $198 million from the fund to help balance the state operating budget. The withdrawal sparked squabbling over when the money would have to be repaid.