Edwards Wants More Construction Money On Roads, Maintenance

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards intends to rework Louisiana's construction budget.

         The governor says he will steer more dollars to roadwork and repairs of existing state buildings. He says his administration is going to drop some of the smaller, local projects favored by state lawmakers for their districts.

         It's an unusual decision for a Louisiana governor. Moving away from spending state construction dollars on local projects will lessen Edwards' ability to trade projects sought by lawmakers for votes on pieces of legislation, a common practice among governors.

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         But Edwards says the construction budget, known as the capital outlay bill, is overstuffed with hundreds of millions in projects Louisiana can't afford.

         He says the state should prioritize transportation work and maintenance of college buildings, and he says his administration will do that.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte

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