Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Streamlining Panel looks at budget cuts

A group set up to devise ways to cut costs in state government recommended Tuesday closing ferries, trimming Medicaid expenses and privatizing the laundry work at juvenile prisons.

The Commission on Streamlining Government is tasked with helping state officials grapple with a $3 billion state budget shortfall over the next two years.

Commission members must finalize a list of recommendations for Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature by the end of the year. Lawmakers would decide which of the proposals to enact.

The full commission deferred some controversial ideas. The panel decided to delay a decision on:
  • Temporarily increasing the employee share of Group Benefits premiums.
  • Reducing the number of state government jobs by 5,000 a year.

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