State budget balanced with millions tied up in lawsuits

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As they scraped together dollars to fill gaps in last year’s budget, Louisiana lawmakers relied on nearly $36 million from a state escrow account tied to ongoing tax litigation, dollars that can’t be spent while the lawsuits remain unresolved.

Much of the money earmarked for spending in the budget year that ended June 30 remains inaccessible, leaving that fiscal year out of balance. A $7.8 million transfer was made Tuesday evening after settlement of some litigation and as The Associated Press asked questions about agencies’ lack of access to the money.

Obligations tied to escrow money not moved by the mid-August close of books shift to the current budget year, with uncertainty about whether they will all be met…

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