Friday, May 15, 2009

Louisiana House OKs state budget; eliminates merit increases and cuts state jobs

The Louisiana House approved a $27 billion budget proposal Thursday that eliminates state employee merit pay raises and also includes large cuts to public colleges, health-care services and government jobs to cope with a steep drop in state revenue.

More than 3,600 state jobs would be cut, and about two-thirds of those job reductions would be layoffs.

The House agreed to the spending plans in an 87-17 vote after seven hours of debate, going through the 291-page bill department by department. Most attempts to make changes were defeated.

As they spoke against the budget, a handful of lawmakers lodged complaints about Gov. Bobby Jindal's stance against tax increases to help fill budget gaps and the Jindal administration's opposition to most of the amendment proposals.

The budget heads next to the Senate for debate, where the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to begin hearings Monday. The 2009-10 spending plan would shrink from a $30 billion budget in the current fiscal year.

A large slice of the reduction is tied to the loss of one-time federal hurricane recovery dollars. The state also faces an estimated $1.3 billion drop in state general fund revenue, thanks to the recession, plummeting oil and gas prices and a slew of large tax breaks approved recently by lawmakers.


kenny said...

Correct me if I am wrong but didn't we the voters/public give the lawmakers a raise. For doing what? When the people whom are actually running this State can't even get the merit increase they deserve.

Disgruntled in LA said...

It's unbelievable they are even considering such a thing, with so many ridiculous expenditures still budgeted.

And fellow civil servants, don't think of this as a "one-time sacrifice." If you have a substantial number of years remaining until retirement, this could cost you tens of thousands of dollars throughout the remainder of your working life and your retirement.

As Burl Cain on the Civil Service Commission has stated, we all (civil servants) have to come out from under the house, call legislators, call the governor's office, call EVERYONE to make sure this does not happen to us.

steve said...

After being a faithful employee for the state for the past 27 years, My retirement income will be based on my last three years salary. Guess what this will do to my retirement check. When I retire I will not be able to move out of this crooked run state fast enough. At least the good 'ol boys never took from the working people. On my job, there is at least 4 people who are over or close to 80 years old. They are drawing a check for doing absolutely nothing but sitting in a truck drawing a check. Jindal just gave all kinds of money to the "aints" who don't deserve money that the state employees deserve after working to keep the state running. Think how the attitude of the state workers will be, if no matter how hard you work, there will be no reward.