Nov 5, 2009 2:47 PM by sleonard
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal held a press conference today to make two announcements: a commitment of $30 million in capital outlay funds for LSU's new business education complex and $303.7 million in collections for the 2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program, surpassing initial estimates for collections.
$30 Million Commitment for LSU's New Business Education Complex:
The $30 million commitment will immediately authorize the opening of the construction bid process. Specifically, $24 million in Priority 5 Capital Outlay funds will be moved up to Priority 1, which makes the money immediately available for construction to begin on the project.
Construction estimates show that $24 million in state funding will be required beginning in the second quarter of FY 11, underscoring the importance of authorizing the money now to ensure the new complex is completed as quickly as possible. The remaining $6 million in capital outlay funds will need to be moved up into Priority 1 cash funding the following fiscal year to complete the project.
Governor Jindal said, "The new facility will be a state-of-the-art business education complex to rival the best in the nation, and help our flagship university attract the best and brightest minds in the country. Not only is this a tremendous investment in the future of our flagship university though, but it will also be an incredible catalyst for economic development in our state by partnering with Louisiana's business community to produce the first-class entrepreneurs of the next generation."
LSU Chancellor Michael V. Martin said, "The Business Education Complex is a visionary example of the investment of the state of Louisiana and private citizens working together with educational institutions to improve economic sustainability and workforce development for the future. As the flagship institution, LSU is in a unique position to be a torch bearer in what we hope will be the first of many examples of public/private partnerships. LSU is committed to building a state of the art Business Education Complex that will produce groundbreaking research, develop business and industry leaders, as well as serve as a valuable research tool and resource for Louisiana citizens and the world. We owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Jindal and his administration, as well as the citizens and business leaders of Louisiana for their support in making this vision a reality."
Dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business Eli Jones said, "The Business Education Complex at LSU will help transform business education. It will be a beacon of hope, entrepreneurship, economic development and cutting edge business education and research, and the best part is it will be in the great state of Louisiana. On behalf of the E. J. Ourso College of Business faculty, staff and students, thank you Governor Jindal and your administration for supporting our efforts to build a state of the art facility for the future of business education."
The new business school at LSU will be constructed next to the Patrick Taylor Hall on LSU's campus, and it is a $60 million dollar facility funded through a public-private partnership - with $30 million provided or committed by donors of LSU's School of Business.
The 156,000-square-foot new facility will be a complex of four buildings wrapped around a 14,000 square foot exterior quadrangle Graduate Court, with covered galleries lining the quadrangle. The first building will be a four-story 56,000-square-foot structure to house the Business School administration, academic affairs and interaction spaces for the Business School and the community. This area will also contain a Business Disaster Recovery Command Center. The second building will be a two-story Undergraduate Pavilion, including classrooms, labs and offices for faculty.
The third is a Graduate Pavilion building that will include study rooms, team rooms and faculty offices. The fourth and final building is a two-story 12,600-square-foot, 300-person auditorium, which will be used by the Business School and the community. The construction is projected to take 24 months to complete the complex.
Since Governor Jindal took office less than two years ago, he has worked with the Legislature to appropriate and to finance around half a billion dollars in critical higher education infrastructure investments - including construction, renovations and major repair projects.
$303.7 million in collections for the 2009 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program:
Governor Jindal said, "We said that when we announced the tax amnesty program it would not be a silver bullet or an instant fix, but the program has generated a significant amount of money that will go towards providing critical services for our people during a challenging budget cycle - especially for offsetting dramatic reductions to health care services if our FMAP rate is not quickly addressed in Congress."
The governor said the total collection amount will continue to rise over the next few weeks as the Department of Revenue continues to process filings. Under the tax amnesty legislation passed last session, $90 million of the amnesty collections will be deposited into the coastal fund in order to pay back funds that were temporarily transferred to the State's Emergency Response Fund (SERF) to pay the cost share for Hurricanes Gustav and Ike - and a total of $86 million will go towards replenishing the state Budget Stabilization Fund ("Rainy Day" fund) which was used to ease reductions in higher education. Governor Jindal said the remaining $127.7 million in tax amnesty collections will be used to offset reductions currently slated to health care services in FY 2010-2011."
The governor said he expects a portion of the amnesty funds will be designated as recurring funding - which will be directly used to offset the dramatic reductions slated for state health care services if the FMAP rate is not fixed soon in Washington.
The $303.7 million in amnesty collections includes $256 million from audits and $47.7 million from receivables. Applicable years for this amnesty period, included all periods since the last amnesty program in 2001, which is from July 1, 2001 through Dec. 30, 2008.
The $303.7 million in amnesty collections beats out other states who recently conducted similar programs. Nevada waived around $14 million in penalties and interest to collect nearly $41 million and Oklahoma generated about twice as much as it expected from its amnesty program, raising $82 million through its 90-day program.
For more information, contact Melissa Sellers or Kyle Plotkin at 225-342-8006 or 225-328-3755.
For more information on the Business Education Complex, visit http://bus.lsu.edu/building/.
From left to right: LSU Foundation President & CEO Gen. Bill Bowdon, Bill Slaughter, LSU Chancellor Michael Martin, E. J. Ourso College of Business Dean Eli Jones, Richard Matheny, Governor Bobby Jindal, Johnny Martin, Roger Ogden, Carol Calkins, and John L. Davidson Teaching Endowed Professor Bill Lane.