[StBernard] Streamlining Update, October 7, 2009

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 7 20:33:11 EDT 2009

The Louisiana Commission on Streamlining Government's Advisory Group on
Efficiency and Benchmarking, of which I am the chairman, adopted eight
additional recommendations at it's September 29 & October 6, 2009 meetings:

Kennedy touts plans to cut costs

<http://www.votervoice.net/link/clickthrough/ext/71424.aspx> HOUMATODAY.COM
State treasurer opposes closure of 4-year schools

<http://www.votervoice.net/link/clickthrough/ext/71425.aspx> ALEXANDRIA TOWN
La. treasurer, LSU System chief at odds

<http://www.votervoice.net/link/clickthrough/ext/71426.aspx> TIMES-PICAYUNE
Louisiana public colleges should have a single board, state Treasurer John
Kennedy says

<http://www.votervoice.net/link/clickthrough/ext/71427.aspx> BASTROP DAILY
Plan for streamlining government taking shape

<http://www.votervoice.net/link/clickthrough/ext/71428.aspx> SHREVEPORT
'Everything on the table' for streamlining panel

Make road construction and maintenance the top priority for capital outlay.
To alleviate the State of Louisiana's $12.5 billion backlog in road
construction and maintenance, 75% of the money in Louisiana's Capital Outlay
Program should be spent on road construction and maintenance through the
existing DOTD priority program for the next 5 years.

Institute a spending limit law to rebate excess revenues to Louisiana
To prevent over-spending from the general fund and adding recurring
expenditures to the budget that the state cannot pay for in economic
downturns, a "kicker law" should be passed that would refund excess revenue
to taxpayers during those years that actual general fund revenue exceeds the
forecast revenue by more than 2%. The amount rebated would be the excess
over 2%. The statute should be modeled after Oregon's successful kicker law,
with the exception that excess revenues would first be applied to the
Louisiana Budget Stabilization Fund (a.k.a. the Rainy Day Fund) until that
fund reaches its cap. The Louisiana spending limit law should include an
annual option to override the rebate requirement by a two-thirds vote of the
Legislature, subject to veto by the Governor.

Rehabilitate the Big Charity Hospital building instead of building a new
If the State of Louisiana goes forward with its plans to construct a
hospital in New Orleans, the existing but currently unoccupied "Big Charity
Hospital" building should be rehabilitated and used as a public teaching
hospital. Renovating the existing building and converting it into a
cutting-edge teaching hospital will meet the health care needs and economic
development goals for the area while saving taxpayers over $300 million.

Dedicate savings achieved from rehabilitating Big Charity Hospital to
If the State of Louisiana rehabilitates the New Orleans "Big Charity
Hospital" instead of building a new hospital, taxpayers would achieve
savings of $300 million and possibly more. $50 million of the savings should
be dedicated to the recruitment of health care professionals and researchers
to facilitate the creation of a world-class teaching and research medical

Reform state housing programs to encourage self-sufficiency and prosperity.
Government-subsidized housing as a tool to eliminate poverty remains
unreformed. U.S. welfare reform has achieved unprecedented drops in
dependency and child poverty by addressing the behavioral causes of poverty
by requiring recipients to undertake constructive activities leading to
self-sufficiency as a condition of receiving assistance. Louisiana law
should be changed to provide that non-elderly, non-disabled recipients of
any Louisiana Housing Finance Agency housing program assistance be required
to obtain formal employment. Those recipients who claim they cannot find
employment will be required to participate in a supervised job search,
attend a job training program to find employment or perform community

Require financial transparency of all Louisiana government boards and
All boards and commissions in Louisiana state government, except for those
responsible for administering Louisiana's retirement systems, should be
directed to annually file a financial statement setting forth in detail the
assets and liabilities, including unencumbered and encumbered cash on hand.
In addition, surplus funds in these boards and commissions will be subject
to appropriation for any lawful purpose by the Louisiana Legislature.

Require privatization contracts to provide well-defined benefits to the
Privatization of a state government program or service should be authorized
when there is demonstrative evidence that the benefits of privatization will
outweigh its costs and approval is given by the Joint Committee on the
Budget of the Louisiana Legislature. In addition, the contracting department
will be held accountable for monitoring the cost, quality of service and
cost-benefit level of all privatization contracts. Private contractors who
receive a state contract would be required to give hiring preference to
public employees who are displaced by the privatization.

Develop a comprehensive website dedicated to the transparency and
accountability of Louisiana government.
To give the people of Louisiana better access to the financial operations of
our government, a comprehensive website should be developed by the State of
Louisiana, modeled after the State of Texas website, "Where the Money Goes:
Window on State Government and Transparency at Work in Texas
<http://www.votervoice.net/link/clickthrough/ext/71430.aspx> ." The
information provided in the website should be easily accessible, in a
user-friendly format, searchable, updated daily and presented in the most
understandable way.

All of the recommendations passed by the advisory group will be forwarded to
the full Streamlining Commission for consideration. To read the full text of
these recommendations, visit the Louisiana Department of Treasury website at
www.LATreasury.com <http://www.LATreasury.com> or CLICK HERE
<http://www.votervoice.net/link/clickthrough/ext/71431.aspx> . You may
submit your cost-saving suggestions to the commission at

I will continue to keep you updated on our progress.
John Neely Kennedy
Louisiana State Treasurer

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