Louisiana gets low score from debt watchdog organization

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FILE – In this June 15, 2018, file photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet in North Andover, Mass. Halfway through the year is an ideal time to check on your finances and prepare for year-end expenses. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana scored poorly in an annual analysis of states’ financial health by a national government watchdog group.

The Chicago-based Truth in Accounting gave Louisiana a “D” grade, one of 18 states to receive such a grade for its overall financial condition.

The organization cited the state’s debt levels, particularly its borrowing for construction work and its unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations.

Truth in Accounting says Louisiana owes the equivalent of $17,700 for every state taxpayer.

Louisiana remains below its debt ceiling.

To address its pension obligations, the state is constitutionally required to pay off a large portion of retirement debt by 2029.

State agencies and school systems pay a share of the debt annually, on top of regular payments they make into the pension systems for current employees.

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