Jun 3, 2011 12:34 AM by Shawn Kline

Jindal's ideas not well received in the legislature

Governor Jindal's plan to cut a $1-billion state deficit isn't well received by the house.
But it's not just Jindal's budget plan legislators are shooting down.

When you add it up, we're talking $230-million. That's how much MORE money the House wants to cut from Governor Jindal's budget plan.
That's more than 1,000 race cars, or 37 tanks, or six passenger jets if you're counting. Either way, you get the idea- it's a lot of money legislators say can be cut-out.

"Cut spending, cut departments, cut government waste." Representative Rickey Hardy (D- 44) says, "that's one way you can approach it."

Hardy is one of the majority of representatives voting against Jindal's budget.

"The only way to resolve it is to deal with our long term problems," State Treasurer John Kennedy said of the budget. "Not smoke and mirrors and budget gimmicks and short term fixes."

If there's one person standing by the Governor's budget, it's his top financial advisor, Paul Rainwater.
He says if legislators don't implement the Governor's plan, it could cause more harm than good.

"We'd have to close prisons, release offenders, we'd have to close a V.A. hospital." Rainwater says, "we'd close some charity hospitals."

Rainwater referred to Kennedy's plan as a "doomsday event." Treasurer Kennedy and the Governor's administration has a history of budget disagreements now coming to the forefront at the capitol.
So far, legislators are siding with Kennedy's budget cutting ideas.
But that's not all. The Senate just passed a cigarette tax renewal, but it's just a renewal- what's so important about that? Well, they renewed the tax despite the Governor's threats to veto it.
And in the House, members are rejecting Jindal's plan to raise retirement costs for state workers.
Now, with the Senate side of the capitol flipping through the budget, we want to know, does the Governor have any support in the legislature at all?

"We don't think (Jindal's budget) is going to fail," Rainwater said confidently. "We are working with House leaders and Senate leaders to inform them of what this means."

"Some days, you win, some days you lose." Representative Hardy says, "this year (the Governor) is on the losing side."

Governor Jindal is now turning to the Senate to restore more than $200-million in additional cuts to his budget.
The Senate Committee on Finance will continue discussions on Friday.



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