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Louisiana leaves money on the table

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BATON ROUGE, La., (KNOE 8 News) -  Louisiana has a $113 million surplus leftover from the last budget year, after the state's financial books have been closed and audited.

The figure was outlined Friday to lawmakers on the joint House and Senate budget committee.

The surplus is $30 million less than previous estimates for the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended June 30. Barry Dusse, director of the governor's Office of Planning and Budget, said the adjustment is tied to reconciliation of the financial books.

Lawmakers will decide how to use the surplus in the legislative session that begins in April.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration wants the money to fill a $94 million gap in Louisiana's Medicaid program. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin says the dollars must replenish the state's "rainy day" fund under the law.

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