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Wanna laugh? Jindal releases Budget "Fact sheet", great fictional masterpiece
Written by  // Monday, 15 June 2015 15:28 //

pinocchio1For those who want a really good laugh only days after a grueling legislative session, or for those longing to read a good fictional story to rock yourself to sleep, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's office has issued a "Fact Sheet" on the Louisiana State budget.  He claims Louisiana has cut government, protected higher education and healthcare.

 

Chuckle, chuckle, yawn, yawn.

As Bob Mann wrote in Salon this weekend, "
Jindal, of course, has already touted his success in balancing Louisiana’s budget without raising taxes (compounding his fiscal irresponsibility, he also used $600 million in non-recurring revenue). In a fundraising email sent to supporters on June 12, Jindal bragged, “Yesterday in Louisiana, we came together to pass a balanced budget that protects higher education and health care. And we did it without a tax increase.” [Emphasis Jindal]"

The Louisiana legislative session was marred by the controversy over what is called SAVE.

SAVE was the fraudent scheme that allowed Jindal to keep his "no-tax" purity claiming he had not violated his pledge to Grover Norquist.  The legislature, almost to a man, criticized SAVE as a scam, a device that had no purpose other than so Jindal could maintain he has not violated the Norquist pledge.

However, interestingly, in the summary below, the words tax increase and SAVE are not mentioned.  Yet, for the past eight years, Jindal's narrative both before and after a legislative session, has been that no taxes have been raised or increased. In fact, the word tax only appears once.

Instead, Jindal's focus this year is the claim he has cut government and the use of one-time money.

However, the summary does not mention the use of one-time government money has been a annual ritual used during the Jindal administration, although for the first few years of his 8 years, he cursed the use of that type of funding.

Nor does Jindal mention that the cut in government is largely due to the lack of revenues, which prompted the $1.6 billion budget deficit this year. 

Also, Jindal fails to mention the reduction in one-time money this year is due to the fact that the legislature unwillingly raised taxes, in the amount of roughly $700 million.

Last, the SAVE scheme, which is supposed to dedicated a stream of revenues to higher education, is not only ridiculed by most, it might not last a full year.  The candidates wanting to replace Jindal have given all indications they will eliminate it, once elected.

Yet, if Bobby Jindal needs to fool the national media, let him.  All anyone of them need to do is to contact the Louisiana media or just about any Louisiana government official to get the truth. 

Here is the Jindal summary:

FACT SHEET ON LOUISIANA STATE BUDGET: CUTTING GOVT - PROTECTING HIGHER EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE

Below is a fact sheet on the Louisiana state budget for the upcoming fiscal year passed by the Legislature.

The budget continues the trend of making smart reductions to the size of government, while strengthening the state’s health care system and protecting higher education. This budget also reduces the reliance on one-time funding and increases the amount of recurring revenue, ensuring more stable state budgets for years to come.

FY 16 BUDGET: INVESTING IN LOUISIANA’S FUTURE

• The FY16 budget reduces the size of state government by nearly 3 percent by reducing spending within state agencies and increasing efficiencies.

• In total, the budget decreased from $25.8 billion to approximately $25.1 billion.

• That decrease includes $464 million in recurring savings that will help future budgets by requiring fewer taxpayer resources.

• It also includes $626 million in recurring revenue and cuts the use of one time money in half.

• Cuts corporate welfare spending by over $129 million per year. 

• These sustainable budget solutions, along with the state's strong economic climate and job growth, put Louisiana on the path for long-term prosperity.

Funding Higher Education and Healthcare

• Higher education is funded at $2.36 billion, a 3.8% increase over FY15.
o That increase includes $265.1 million for TOPS, an increase of $15.2 million that will allow more students to continue their educations in Louisiana.

• We increased the total K-12 funding by 2.36%, or $84.7million.  This includes a 1.375% inflationary increase in MFP funding of $36.2 million, $40.5 million in funding for student growth, $5.4 million for high cost special needs students and $2.6 million for course choice.

• $42 million for the Louisiana Scholarship Program that will allow more than 600 new students to join the more than 7,000 who have already escaped failing schools and are continuing their education in a school that better suits their academic needs.

 The Department of Health and Hospitals budget is funded at $9.65 billion, an increase of 1.5% over FY15 that includes a $3.5 million increase to waiver services.

• An additional $53.7 million is included for DHH partner hospitals to strengthen health care delivery in Louisiana. This will match an additional $88.3 million in federal funding for a total funding level of $142 million for health care services in Louisiana.

• The current budget includes $53 million to fully fund legacy costs for the former LSU hospitals.  This funding has been specifically designated to help the LSU hospital systems pay down ‘legacy’ costs left over from the old healthcare delivery model. Doing this will ensure that operating funds appropriated to the hospital systems can be focused on medical training and patient care, not historical overhead costs.

• Also, an additional $31.1 million is included for LSUHS Shreveport Medical School so that Louisiana can continue training the doctors of tomorrow.

Funding Public Safety

• $5 million for a new State Police cadet class that will convene in July, which will train future troopers and maintain their presence in Louisiana communities;

• $1.4 million for a class of Wildlife and Fisheries agents to keep Louisiana beautiful by protecting our wildlife, natural resources, hunters and fishermen.

Louisiana legislature, Jindal apply band-aid fix to budgetary cancerous wound
Monday, 15 June 2015 11:33

bandaidOfficially, the Louisiana budget was balanced with not a second to spare. On Thursday of last week, as the clock ticked, the Louisiana legislature, after a two-month session, finalized the state budget with its $1.6 billion shortfall by raising fees, taxes and by making cuts. The problem, however, appears to be that the fix was merely short-term and the budget solution which begins July 1 2015 might even last until Gov. Bobby Jindal serves his last day in office, mid-January 2016.

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