Louisiana is roughly $940 million dollars away from a budget solution for the remainder of this year and $2 billion for next budget year. And who appears before the House Appropriations committee today to discuss state contracts? John Kennedy, Louisiana Treasurer, who is running for US Senate.
Any action on these contracts will not fix the $940M budget shortfall for this year. Procedures are currently in place for the Edwards administration to review and remove contracts that should be eliminated. Still, Kennedy made a number of points while testifying today, many of the same points he makes whenever he has appeared before a legislative committee (or while facing a radio mic or TV camera). The narrative is simple—“Louisiana is spending too much money on contracts it knows little about”.
Indeed. And Kennedy should be applauded for his focus upon this issue.
So, in the waning hours of this special session, Kennedy again testified under oath, that Governor Edwards's Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, will be reviewing all of the 19 thousand contracts. Kennedy claimed today, that due to the sheer number of these contracts, Dardenne will be occupied with this task for the next four years of the Edwards administration.
Is this the procedure the Edwards administration actually deploying—have Jay Dardenne read through all contracts, pick out those that pique his interest and then contact each Administration Department head, call each one into his office to discuss and debate the merits of those contracts?
Watch the short video to see exactly what Jay Dardenne said the Edwards administration would be doing to get rid of the unnecessary contracts that Louisiana cannot afford.