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Story Archives: Streamlining Commission encouraged to continue work
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|Streamlining Commission encouraged to continue work|
Earlier this week, the state Commission on Streamlining Government submitted its findings to Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature.
We have not studied every detail of the commission's work, which produced 238 recommendations on how the state could save money and raise some, too. We're told the recommendations would produce hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for Louisiana taxpayers. That's good news if it's true since the state faces a $1 billion budget deficit heading into the 2010-2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The brainchild of Sen. Jack Donahue, the 10-member Streamlining Commission began work about four months ago. It was charged with finding some $800 million in savings for state government.
Donahue says the commission encountered some difficulty in obtaining specific information from state agencies. He says that hindered the commission's ability to identify specific cuts the state could make to curb appropriations. Sounds likes someone with some authority, such as the governor, needs to have a chit chat with the men and women who would be responsible for seeing to it that state agencies cooperate fully with the Streamlining Commission.
Donahue also says the commission will continue its work in hopes of identifying more ways the state could trim its expenditures. We encourage Donahue and other members of the commission to plow ahead. We also encourage the governor to have that chit chat with his underlings.
Meanwhile, we do not accept the commission's findings that state government could raise revenues if it raised the amount of money it charges for certain services. Donahue's commission referred to them as "fees." To us, those "fees" represent taxes, and we refuse to accept or embrace the notion that Louisiana needs to raise taxes to balance its books.
In the coming weeks, we'll learn exactly how much money the commission believes the state could save by either cutting back on certain expenditures or through the elimination of state programs. The devil will surface in the details.
In time, we'll know whether Jindal and the Legislature have any intention of doing anything with the commission's work. Let's hope they do.