Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Panel seeks to trim state government

Cutting state payroll is the easiest way to shrink the size and budget of state government, members of a state streamlining panel said Tuesday, but it has to be done strategically to preserve services.

But even some of those services could be on the chopping block if the Legislature would do it, says State Treasurer John Kennedy, a member of the Commission on Streamlining Government.

The panel was created in this year's legislative session with the backing of Gov. Bobby Jindal and is looking at ways to reduce state spending.

Leonal Hardman, a panel member representing public employees, said that too often "streamlining government (by cutting employees) is not coming from the top. It's coming from the bottom," the people who provide services to the public.

The comments arose as the Commission on Streamlining Government splintered into smaller groups to study various aspects of state government.

The work must be done quickly. The commission must submit streamlining recommendations to the governor and other state officials by the end of the year.

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