—Cut at least $100 million from funds protected by statute that are not protected by the state constitution and do not assess a fee for a specific service. About $4.6 billion of state appropriations for the current fiscal year are statutorily protected. Blueprint says a review of statutory dedications by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget already under way should be expedited and that the committee should recommend either elimination or extension of each individual fund.
—Reduce state workers by 9,486 over two years, bringing Louisiana’s work force more in line with similar states and saving over $235 million in fiscal year 2012.
—Save at least $25 million by reforming state employee and teacher retirement systems. The state should increase the employee share of benefits and consider combining back-office operations and shifting away from defined benefits to defined contributions.
—Revise “outdated sentencing and parole guidelines,” considering more parole eligibility and community-based options, for savings of $2 million to $6 million.
—Implement coordinated care networks for Medicaid patients, as proposed by the Department of Health and Hospitals, with potential savings of over $20 million.
—Reform the charity hospital system to save $50+ million. Could include turning over public hospitals, except the two that house graduate medical programs, to local ownership or establishing public-private collaborations similar to the Earl K. Long/Our Lady of the Lake partnership being implemented in Baton Rouge.
—Maximize federal matching funds, which could be worth between $125 million and $575 million.
—Implement a hospital provider assessment to generate new state dollars for the federal match: $245 million in potential new revenue.
—Accelerate implementation of national best practices for people with behavioral health issues, developmental disabilities and long-term care needs: $25+ million in potential savings.
—Eliminate programs that don’t meet “acceptable standards,” including 450 low-completer and duplicative programs already identified by the Board of Regents. No savings estimate given.
—Undertake structural reform, which could include reorganizing institutions from a statewide and regional perspective, raising standards for TOPS and granting colleges and universities more flexibility for benefits packages to employees: $25+ million.
—Cut spending on board offices and administration: $20+million.
—Grant more operational freedom, allowing universities to run more like businesses: $10+million.
—Loosen the Legislature’s control of tuition rates: $90 million to $300 million in potential new revenue.