Kennedy accuses Jindal of using budget scare tactics
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy accused Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration today of using scare tactics to drum up support for restoring hundreds of millions of dollars to next year's budget. In a letter to Jindal, Kennedy asks his fellow Republican to "stop scaring our health care and higher education communities" about the $268 million stripped from next year's $25 billion budget by House GOP lawmakers. "It is not necessary to make the draconian reductions to the health care and higher education budgets you and your staff have suggested in order to achieve the fiscally responsible goals of the House," Kennedy writes. Jindal's top budget adviser, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, says the cuts proposed by the House are unworkable and would force the governor's financial office to strip dollars for health services and college campuses. The governor's spokesman Kyle Plotkin dismisses Kennedy's letter. "John Kennedy has a long history of using numbers that don't add up and proposing the same-old, same-old half-baked gimmicks. There's nothing new here. These gimmicks haven't worked before, and they aren't going to work now. He's just one confused politician," Plotkin says in a statement. In the letter, Kennedy once again pushes ideas he has proposed for the last several years of budget reductions. He says the state can eliminate vacant jobs, reorganize departments, reduce consulting contracts and more aggressively collect outstanding debts owed the state—measures that he claims would balance expenses and revenue without harming critical services.
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