Local Gov’t Act

39:1301. Short title

This Chapter may be cited as the “

LouisianaLocal Government Budget Act.

39:1302. Definitions

For the purposes of this Chapter:

(1) “Political subdivision” means a parish; municipality; schoolboard; special district created pursuant to and under the authority of ArticleVI, Section 16 or 19 of the Louisiana Constitution; registrar of voters; orindependently elected parish offices, including the office of assessor, clerk ofdistrict court, coroner, district attorney, sheriff, and judges, but onlyinsofar as their judicial expense funds, as provided for in Title 13 of theLouisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

(2) “Governing authority” means the body which exercises thelegislative functions of the political subdivision.

39:1303. Legislative intent

A. It is the intent of the legislature that this Chapter shall apply, asprovided for herein, to all political subdivisions of the state with a generalfund or a special revenue fund, except that the provisions of R.S. 39:1306related to public participation shall only apply to those political subdivisionswith proposed expenditures totaling two hundred fifty thousand dollars or morein such funds. The provisions of this Chapter shall be construed as minimalrequirements and shall not prevent a political subdivision from requiring moreextensive financial planning and budgeting practices nor from imposing morestringent penalties for violations.

B. Preparation and adoption of a budget by a political subdivision in anymanner contrary to the provisions of this Chapter is hereby expresslyprohibited.

C. It is the intent of the legislature that this Chapter shall apply topolitical subdivisions operating under a home rule charter or plan of governmentadopted or in existence pursuant to and under the authority of Article VI of theLouisiana Constitution of 1974 to the extent that governments operating underhome rule charters are subject to this Chapter as minimum standards.

D. The provisions of this Act shall apply to school boards only if and whenthey do not conflict with R.S. 17:88(A).

E. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to funds received bydistrict attorneys’ offices pursuant to: (1) R.S. 16:15; (2) incentive paymentsfor child support enforcement activities; unless proposed expenditures exceed$50,000.

39:1304. Budget preparation

A. Each political subdivision shall cause to be prepared a comprehensivebudget presenting a complete financial plan for the ensuing fiscal year for thegeneral fund and each special revenue fund.

B. The chief executive or administrative officer of the political subdivisionor, in the absence of such positions, the equivalent thereof shall prepare theproposed budget.

C. The budget document setting forth the proposed financial plan for thegeneral fund and each special revenue fund shall include the following:

(1) A budget message signed by the budget preparer which shall include asummary description of the proposed financial plan, policies, and objectives,assumptions, budgetary basis, and a discussion of the most important features.

(2) A statement for the general fund and each special revenue fund showingthe estimated fund balances at the beginning of the year; estimates of allreceipts and revenues to be received, revenues itemized by source; recommendedexpenditures itemized by agency, department, function, and character; otherfinancing sources and uses by source and use; and the estimated fund balance atthe end of the fiscal year. School boards shall itemize revenues andexpenditures in accordance with guidance provided by the state Department ofEducation. If, upon the request of the governing authority, the politicalsubdivision fails to submit its budget document showing the informationconcerning revenue sources as mandated by this Subsection, the governingauthority shall not appropriate any general funds to such political subdivision.

D. A budget proposed for consideration by the governing authority shall beaccompanied by a proposed budget adoption instrument. The budget adoptioninstrument for independently elected parish offices shall consist of a letterfrom the independently elected official authorizing the implementation of theadopted budget. The budget adoption instrument for any municipality, parish,school board, or special district shall be an appropriation ordinance, adoptionresolution, or other legal instrument necessary to adopt and implement thebudget document. The adoption instrument shall define the authority of the chiefexecutive and administrative officers of the political subdivision to makechanges within various budget classifications without approval by the governingauthority, as well as those powers reserved solely to the governing authority.

E. The total of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimatedfunds available for the ensuing fiscal year.

39:1305. Completion and submission of the proposed budget

A. The proposed budget for political subdivisions with a governing authorityincluding municipalities, parishes, school boards, and special districts shallbe completed and submitted to the governing authority of that politicalsubdivision and made available for public inspection as provided for in R.S.39:1307 no later than fifteen days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year orprior to the date for budget adoption by school boards as required in R.S.17:88(A).

B. The proposed budget for a registrar of voters and independently electedparish offices including the office of assessor, clerk of district court,coroner, district attorney, and sheriff shall be completed and made availablefor public inspection as provided for in R.S. 39:1307 no later than fifteen daysprior to the beginning of each fiscal year.

39:1306. Public participation

A. Political subdivisions with total proposed expenditures of two hundredfifty thousand dollars or more from the general fund and any special revenuefunds shall afford the public an opportunity to participate in the budgetaryprocess prior to adoption of the budget.

B. Upon completion of the proposed budget and, if applicable, its submissionto the governing authority, the political subdivision shall cause to bepublished a notice stating that the proposed budget is available for publicinspection. The notice shall also state that a public hearing on the proposedbudget shall be held with the date, time, and place of the hearing specified inthe notice. The notice shall be published at least ten days prior to the date ofthe first public hearing. Where applicable, publication shall be in the officialjournal of the political subdivision. Where there is no requirement that thepolitical subdivision have an official journal, publication shall be in theofficial journal of the governing authority of the parish in which the politicalsubdivision is located. In cases where the political subdivision is locatedwithin the boundaries of more than one parish, publication shall be in theofficial journal of the governing authority of each parish.

C. No proposed budget shall be considered for adoption or otherwise finalizeduntil at least one public hearing has been conducted on the proposal. Nothingherein shall prohibit one or more political subdivisions from conducting jointpublic hearings.

D. The political subdivision shall certify completion of all action requiredby this Section by publishing a notice in the same manner as is herein providedfor the notice of availability of the proposed budget and public hearing.

39:1307. Inspection of the proposed budget

The proposed budget of a political subdivision shall be available for publicinspection at the following locations:

(1) Municipalities: at the office of the mayor or municipal governingauthority.

(2) School boards: at the school board office.

(3) Special districts: at the office of the governing authority of thespecial district.

(4) All other political subdivisions: at the office of the individualpolitical subdivision.

(5) In cases where the political subdivision is located within the boundariesof more than one parish, the proposed budget shall be available at the office ofthe parish governing authority of each parish.

39:1308. Adoption

A. All action necessary to adopt and otherwise finalize and implement thebudget for an ensuing fiscal year shall be taken in open meeting and completedprior to the end of the fiscal year in progress or prior to the date for budgetadoption by school boards, as required by R.S. 17:88(A).

B. The adopted budget shall be balanced with approved expenditures notexceeding the total of estimated funds available.

C. The adopted budget shall contain the same information as that required forthe proposed budget according to R.S. 39:1304(C) for the proposed budget.

D. Upon adoption, certified copies of the budget and adoption instrumentshall be transmitted to and retained by the chief executive or administrativeofficer as required by R.S. 39:1312.

39:1309. Amending the budget

When the governing authority has received notification pursuant to R.S.39:1310, or there has been a change in operations upon which the originaladopted budget was developed, the governing authority shall adopt a budgetamendment in an open meeting to reflect such change. When an independentlyelected parish official has received notification pursuant to R.S. 39:1310(A),or when there has been a change in operations upon which the original adoptedbudget was developed, the independently elected official shall adopt a budgetamendment and publish such amendment in the official journal as described by R.S.39:1306(B). In no event shall a budget amendment be adopted proposingexpenditures which exceed the total of estimated funds available for the fiscalyear.

39:1310. Budgetary authority and control

A. The adopted budget and any duly authorized adopted amendments shall formthe framework from which the chief executive or administrative officers andmembers of the governing authority of the political subdivision shall monitorrevenues and control expenditures. The chief executive or administrative officershall advise the governing authority or independently elected official inwriting when:

(1) Total revenue and other sources plus projected revenue and other sourcesfor the remainder of the year, within a fund, are failing to meet total budgetedrevenues and other sources by five percent or more.

(2) Total actual expenditures and other uses plus projected expenditures andother uses for the remainder of the year, within a fund, are exceeding the totalbudgeted expenditures and other uses by five percent or more.

(3) Actual beginning fund balance, within a fund, fails to meet estimatedbeginning fund balance by five percent or more and fund balance is being used tofund current year expenditures.

B. The written notification as required by this Section as well as anyresponsive action taken by the governing authority or independently electedofficial shall be transmitted to and retained by the chief executive oradministrative officer. The written notification as required by this Section andthe resulting budget amendment shall only be statutorily required for a specialrevenue fund with anticipated expenditures that equal or exceed two hundredfifty thousand dollars. Furthermore, only the written notification of ParagraphA(2) of this Section shall be required for special revenue funds whose revenuesare expenditure driven.

C. The adopted budget and any duly authorized amendments required by thisSection shall constitute the authority of the chief executive or administrativeofficers of the political subdivision to incur liabilities and authorizeexpenditures from the respective budgeted funds during the fiscal year.

D. Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent the making of contracts forgovernmental services or for the capital outlay for a period exceeding one yearif such contracts are allowed otherwise by law. Any contracts so made shall beexecutory only for the amounts agreed to be paid for such services to berendered in succeeding years.

E. Notwithstanding any provision of this Section to the contrary, the electedchief of police in a municipality shall advise the municipal governing authorityin writing when total actual expenditures plus projected expenditures for theremainder of the year within the police department exceed the total budgetedexpenditures by five percent or more, and shall make recommendations in writingto the governing authority for responsive action.

39:1311. Governing authority’s failure to makeappropriation

If, at the end of any fiscal year, the appropriations necessary for thesupport of the political subdivision for the ensuing fiscal year have not beenmade, then fifty percent of the amounts appropriated in the appropriationordinance or resolution for the last completed fiscal year shall be deemedreappropriated for the several objects and purposes specified in suchappropriation ordinance or resolution.

39:1312. Budget filing

The chief executive or administrative officer shall retain and file certifiedcopies of the adopted budget, budget adoption instrument, duly authorized budgetamendments, and copies of supporting schedules and correspondence related to thebudget at the domicile of the governing authority.

39:1313. Emergencies

Nothing shall prohibit the expenditure of funds in cases of emergency. Forpurposes of this Section, “an emergency” means an unforeseen eventbringing with it destruction or injury of life or property or the imminentthreat of such destruction or injury.

39:1314. Violations

A. Except as provided in R.S. 39:1313, any public official or officer thatviolates, either knowingly or intentionally, the provisions of R.S. 39:1304 (E),either through the adoption of an original budget or through amendment to alegally adopted budget, shall be a violation of R.S. 14:134 and shall be subjectto the penalties contained therein.

B. Any person may commence a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction forthe parish in which the political subdivision is domiciled for mandamus,injunctive, or declaratory relief to require compliance with the provisions ofthis Chapter.

39:1315. [Repealed by Acts 1984, No. 186,Section 3.]

39:1316. [Repealed by Acts 1984, No. 186,Section 3.


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