[StBernard] Streamlining the Budget

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Mar 18 21:10:32 EDT 2009

March 18, 2009

Streamlining the Budget

It is no secret that our nation is facing tough economic times, and while we
are faring better than many states across the country, we are not immune to
the effects. Last week we introduced our plans to strategically streamline
our state's budget while still protecting critical services for our

Our budget will decrease by 9.8 percent compared to last year's budget,
including a 12.7 percent decrease in state funds. As reported by the New
Orleans Times Picayune
930.xml&coll=1> , "the [federal] stimulus money is intended as a "bridge" as
Louisiana downsizes state government after several years of rapid growth," -
however it is a temporary fix at best, and not a silver bullet to fix our

We have asked agencies and departments across state government to provide
meaningful performance data, so that we can target underperforming and
out-of-date programs while protecting high performing programs from severe
reductions. Read More >

Expanding our Economy

Despite the troubling national economic conditions, we are continuing to
encourage expansion and investment in our state's economy. In the past week,
I visited Greensburg and Houma to join two companies, Southland Steel
Fabricators and Performance Energy Services LLC, in announcing expan sions
to their existing facilities. These announcements will protect nearly 1,000
existing jobs while adding nearly 400 new ones.

Southland Steel will expand their Greensburg facility, retaining 141 jobs
along with creating 35 new ones, representing a $1.5 million capital
investment. Performance Energy will expand their facilities at the Port of
Terrebonne in Houma, retaining 800 jobs and creating 350 new ones in the
next five years. Read More >

Investing in Higher Education

We also announced last week that we are requesting $98.4 million from the
07-08 surplus to be used for construction projects at our state's higher
education institutions. With more than $1 billion in backlogged projects at
our schools, this is an investment that will pay immediate dividends on
campuses across our state.

Because the funding is coming from the surplus, these projects can be
started immediately. As the Lafayette Daily Advertiser
GY0b%2bnZPmbddF6LNh7QkIFRQ%3d&digest=enHwwhtsb0Lc6ZGMdR%2bafA> reported,
these will be "multimillion dollar construction projects at campuses across
the state." Projects will be undertaken at, among other places, LSU-E,
Southeastern, Northwestern State, the University of New Orleans, ULL,
McNeese State, Louisiana Tech, LSU-Baton Rouge, Southern, and ULM. We also
announced $65 million in critical infrastructure projects at our state's
Community and Technical Colleges. Read More >

Honoring our Veterans

I was honored to join Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA)
Secretary Lane Carson and Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard,
Major General Bennett C. Landreneau at Barksdale Air Force Base last week to
award more than 270 of our veterans with the Louisiana Veteran's Honor
Medal. We created the Honor Medal Program last year to provide a way for us
to recognize all of our state's veterans.

At this ceremony, we were able to honor nine POWs, 74 Purple Heart
recipients, and the family members of 53 troops who were killed in action,
many in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every major military event since World War II
had veterans present, providing a panoramic view of the generations of
heroes who have serve d our country in order to protect us all. Read More >

Sincerely, Governor Bobby Jindal

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