WWL>Topics>>6-24-14 3pm, Angela, Louisiana State Budget

6-24-14 3pm, Angela, Louisiana State Budget

Jun 24, 2014|

Is Louisiana’s budget a cracked foundation? Governor Jindal and Louisiana lawmakers have settled on a 24.6 billion dollar budget for this fiscal year. However, almost $1 billion of that comes from one-time financing sources—leaving a big hole for next year’s budget. How do we stop relying on funding that’s not guaranteed and fill in the hole for future budgets? And, do you consider Bobby Jindal a fiscally responsible governor? Governor Jindal and Louisiana lawmakers have settled on a 24.6 billion dollar budget for this fiscal year. However, almost $1 billion of that comes from one-time financing sources—leaving a big hole for next year’s budget. How do we stop relying on funding that’s not guaranteed and fill in the hole for future budgets?

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

If you work on your budget you may have to rob Peter to pay hall. What should your state government be doing the same thing. The Louisiana budget goes into effect next month all 25 billion dollars of it. But is there really enough money to pay for everything. In exactly where is the money coming from. It's our states and our money and we want answers. And who better to get them from than our guest state representative from river ridge Kirk help. And our state treasurer John Kennedy I think both of you for being here this is going to be a fascinating hour because it's going to be the hour that I learned. Everything I ever wanted to know about budget and I'm imploring anybody who was driving -- listening at home if you have any questions after you hear what they're saying. Please give us a call 2601870. We may never have these two experts together for a whole hour. 2601870. Thank you both for you welcome good to be here. My right off the bat I know that every year is they've balancing act. But one concern this year is spent almost a billion dollars 900 let's not bicker over -- 100000. Of the about a billion of what we're spending will not be available next year. And so what's the use of the one time funds not a good idea. -- -- Let's talk about and it is -- reversed I'd appreciate be in Albuquerque is he is one of the leading. Fiscally responsible conservatives in the legislature. He's trying to get national the right path to some fiscal sanity. He he doesn't win only every vote that's part of the problem but I but I am honored to be on Kirk up he's a very good businessman to mounting for a long time. -- -- -- -- It is the problem. The current budget has not -- 82 point fat. Million dollar in temporary money. Are we rated trust fund called Medicaid trust fund. Week we have a tax amnesty last year. By definition that's temporary money. Com. We took money from some of the other ones like the -- and housing corporation he had all that it's about 982. Bill. We're using that money. To pay for on going operating expense. Very danger because the stand next year. When we're putting together the fiscal are the budget for the final year that a 1982. Million dollars will be spent. But the expenses. That it 84 for one year will still be here. Does that go back to the original thing -- were robbing Peter to pay Paul I think Cuba. Iran thinking well it's it's been going on it's not the first time it's happened we've seen him. But HBO and for the last since 20082000. We've done it every year. Which is why we have these midyear budget cuts in the and when you when you balance your budget this way with with accounting maneuvers. Which are really doing is spending more than you taking and and Kirk. And some of his colleagues in the house -- for the repeatedly. Measures to get -- back to truly balanced budgets but that frankly they haven't been able. To convince the administration are some there probably to do. It's it's been difficult and in -- You know. Cameron Henry and I you know Cameron Henry state rep from Jefferson has worked you know hard on this and is it and -- -- -- fiscal conservative as well. And you know he and I you know we we filed a lawsuit against the budget last year. -- you know about the one time money used for recurring expenses in unfortunately. That lawsuit that I guess the judge gonna cancel the game before the game got started. But you know. We're willing to go. Whatever means necessary. To put us on the straight and narrow -- like chairs -- candy said avenue looking at this this 991. Half my figures -- nine under wanted it's somewhere over 900 million dollars. That money will not be there. It and also you know you can look at the the 300 million dollars in in the hospital lease payments that CMS has denied. You know I know we're appealing that in and hopefully -- out -- treasurer Kennedy his opinion now on I'm optimistic. That that money will will materialize that that doesn't materialize. You're looking at a fiscal year budget of fifteen and sick of 20152016. A possibly one point two billion dollar she could add. 300 million dollars on top of this 900 million dollars but you know it's not. You would never run a business this way and it's almost akin to you know if you had a relative die and leave you a 100000 dollars you wouldn't go. By a bigger house and and use that 100000 dollars to pay you know maybe you could get through the first two years. Of mortgage payments but you know what are you gonna do after that. And it seems like we've kicked this can. Down the road time and time again. Let me ask you though so next year rolls around. We don't have those one time monies will we find them someplace else and just continue the method. Well I think usually that that seems to be what is happened but you know when you look at. That the gravity of of -- -- of you know 98900. Million dollars and you look at things like. You know the health insurance -- pool that was sixteen million dollars. And the 234 million dollars that is been drained out of -- matter Medicaid trust fund. The fund sweeps the pharmaceutical settlements those are. Coming back and it does it is fair to say that always seems like money economists here realizes that we you know we find some money somewhere but. 900 million dollars that's that's it that's pretty hefty. That is very. -- -- are running ravaged spot at the you can back and when you when you joke you're cash flow. But beat you can only about -- personal and and where we've been doing it now for. Five or six years without addressing our our systemic problems. And at some point to musical stop. Salaam -- -- that it won't happen until we get a new governor and legislature. They'll -- its warning just in time. To face a big problem -- in the musical stop but I look at look at what's going on in Southern Europe and. That they did this thing dying in Portugal and Italy and Spain and Q what that is happening. About having to make very tough decisions. -- -- choices. You know what we're going to have to take a break Obama combat we're gonna talk about that. Why can't we do the tough stuff now get it organized so we don't live like this. Stay with this I'm Angela under the WL but we are talking -- state reps and just -- healthy and dot state treasurer John Kennedy about our state budget. Lot of lessons learned but the bottom line is I keep rounding up to a billion dollars. That's in that budget that we're not going to have for next year to 909. Million dollars but again next year. If we don't have some phenomenal cash. Inflow of cash we're gonna say where we're gonna come up with that 900 million in right back where we started. Not kind of take -- back -- both appeal if you take is back on what should be done so we're not robbing Peter to pay off but one thing out. I'll start off first and it is we need to to follow the laws that we had you know you can't in the constitution. Requires you know specifically says you cannot use one time money for recurring expenses. And that's one of the reasons why Cameron Henry and I found file that lawsuit alleging that -- that constitutional arm has been violated. Lance Harris a state reps and -- -- bill passed act for nineteen last year. Which is gonna sound crazy would it reinforcing. It reinforces the constitutional requirement. That the revenue estimating conference was tells us how much money we have to spend. Basically file those existing law and that it. That it. You know designates what revenues are recurring and what revenues and non -- that's that's part of the job of the RC. But it was basically a loss saying look you know you gotta follow the constitution the constitution some people may say it was a little of a gray area. But I -- searchers can rule would chime in it's clear to us that you can't do this and we need to follow laws that we have those. Those laws in this constitutional provisions were put there in place to prevent this very thing. From happening. But I do think that act for nineteen has helped now you know. The house cut all the one time money out of the budget when we got the budget the senate -- fifty million dollars and one time money so. You know you could say well how can -- happen well let me tell you happened happened nothing's. Everything he's presumed constitution unless somebody goes to court -- it witches and John Kennedy. -- I would do a couple things personally put it in context Scalia people so we don't have enough money I think -- well. The current budget is twenty bill and arch. When Kathleen Blanco was governor but it was nineteen days when Mike Foster was governor the governor with the budget was well. So we've gone from 200 billion dollar budget to a nineteen point that they you know over a period of time we -- any people we we lost congressional actually. And inflation's been on the 2%. We're not spending the money in the right place this is what I did not start with with health care. The HH but just nine billion dollar we spend eight billion on met many of the people on Medicaid -- That doesn't mean can't save money. -- -- Last year we Aetna and under -- Taxpayer funded visits. To emergency. For non emergencies. People were taking a 700 dollar and tried to go to -- Seagram. To be treated for to get examination. Of the pregnancy test to be treated for acting. We can't afford that because it costs about ten times more to treat a patient and he orbit doesn't -- Tonight in Iraq you -- you because that this keeps rearing its -- how do we stop that behaviors now. He told them you know do an upper stage do they put. Social workers. And then the he or say they triage patients and somebody comes in for pregnancy test you should look. You'll Medicaid will paper free met Medicaid are idea pregnancy test -- you've got to go to private plan. Other states are doing this very successfully. We're not. But even before they get in the ambulance. Should there be some sort of triage. Absolutely. -- -- and I don't think that is being. Unfair to people I think that is trying to shape the program shall we can treat people who really need the emergency care at the at the medicated that the idea or our economics. The seven the eight billion dollars we expand on Medicaid. We've got one point four million people on Medicaid three person. Only 3%. Of those. One point four million people spirited. 43. Rushing out of the -- Now. What what rational business person would do which I -- I'd better go find out -- -- 3% at all. NC packing reduced pared it back that can reduce their expenditures by just 20%. That's about 600 million dollar. The -- thing I would do. As -- talked about and he's he's helped on the legislation. And spoke with -- appeal to reduce the number consulting contracts and urged. With -- help the house passed the bill the senate passed it. Bobby as is his right governor Jindal because. Friday night it would save a lot of money out -- specific example and. You can't make this step. Taxpayers spent over 100. Million -- 134. Million dollar. Or eight new web site. And our department of children in -- short speech but -- tired or state company. Over or appeared this and a 134 million -- Irish question what is it four bases will -- to hail. That stamp recipients. Well first ball most most folks on food stamps. -- -- there. That -- -- all the computer. I don't -- they need good jobs they need help getting the job. That we have an extraordinary web -- knows there. They cost 134 million dollars but that money came. -- And southern. And Delgado. And public classrooms and -- and coast restaurant. You can't make everybody at the leadership today is -- no we have enough money but -- -- people. I think that's I think that's what I wanted to hear it in a perfect world. With no piped flute accounting if you are told this is how much money the state has coming in. Then you look at all the programs that were responsible for. If you come up short. Where do you start making the decisions that -- gonna have to cut a little bit from this -- a little bit from that or eliminate something. -- it's such -- partridge -- had failed to do that legislature what are are shunning most taxpayers which I. Number one education. We're spit on 111000 dollars per republics and school's student. An education. Are you bullish starving that pre K to twelve to an OK in terms of money but we're starting our -- -- to death. Well on one thing I like to chime in -- when you were talking about. You know the emergency room visits. Believe it or not see MS of Washington DC is a -- enacting rules that will allow states to charge. Some emergency room visits that were deemed non emergency. And that's a bill that on the war on on file the next year if you know it it maybe five or ten dollars it's not. A home run or the silver bullet but it is something that we may get a cut those costs and at least deter that kind of activity of going to the emergency room. You know for something that shouldn't be onto the -- them. You know that is saying it's it's a behavior that is. You know you have to break the behavior just a natural thing good -- and -- a lot of feeling bad I'll call the ambulance it's an ambulance is 700 dollars. And it's a stomach ache and you could go someplace else or a Jewish -- acne whatever that is outrageous right. And it's not just ammunition on it has been going on forever the public affairs research council this steady in 2006. Is where I got the 900000 figure. And end of any of -- the big things that people would only -- for which taxpayers have to thank or money in the great year Armstrong are. -- Eight Arnie and I examination not hurt I have but do any. Pregnancy test. They actually keep keep going down that it. But what you were saying. When a person calls are they asked what is your emergency. And if -- answer I need a pregnancy test could that person on the other end of the phone say you know what. Muni the pregnancy tests which -- gonna have to make an appointment next clinic or. I've got bad sunburn OK you need to put some lotion on -- you do not need to go to an emergency. There's a tree much if you show up the bureau Medicaid and you show up -- -- ER. You can call an ambulance using ability are he -- but the are you going to be treated other doctors may. Maybe perturbed that they're having to take time away from somebody who's bleeding in order to -- to treat you which are going to be treated you may have to wait a while. But it's very very very expensive cost five times more would treat a patient and New York that it doesn't -- We're gonna have to break for the newsroom but everyone stay with -- and and again to 601 a seventy you have. Any questions for state reps and if Kirk -- and our state treasurer John Kennedy. We'll be right back I'm Angela under the W well -- we are with us stay -- into Kirk -- and our state treasurer John Kennedy. Talking about the wonderful world of our state budget. I'm learning things every day and I again appreciate both of you being here we have a caller pat from uptown you had a question. -- -- And it didn't want to win from News Corp. Which. A purported illegal police. Which is its founders have been receiving billions a year since the thirty. And if they had heard of it -- what is being done about it. In your hands and. Well -- go ahead Kirk herb you yeah yeah well I'm -- yes -- -- -- support -- our history back -- when. Governor -- -- was governor he and some business associates allegedly. At least which state minerals one minerals to themselves. And in transferable leases to oil companies and kept the percentage of the rule teach the companies called win or lose all corporation. The governor along in his short Stanley is -- defensive. Re -- usual rule siege mr. Torres well -- -- -- -- the same thing down and black bear. And there was litigation. Count plaque bears my knowledge -- never been any litigation recoup money. From. To recoup the money horses still money going out Tuesday descendants. Which morning okay so we don't just -- -- touch that. -- there's no interest in saying wait a minute this might have been improper back then but we why should we continue it. To my balances the attorney general the DA should never looked into that there is an issue came up top shape. About a year ago improbable legislature. The governor said he didn't -- considered there was just no interest in taking up the issue. You know something. -- and -- -- just made a statement that in fact the state has enough money we have 25 billion dollars. -- compared to other states for spending more. So the issue is not that we don't have enough money it's that we tried to do too much. Right I think I think for a state our size I think we have enough money is just how how we spending you know we have. More four year colleges in the state of Florida which you know a lot of -- shocking in its. You know it's kind of like you know if you have two children vs eight children two children -- make -- cars when they graduate from high school. If you have a graduating at the same time no one's gonna couldn't get a car so. I don't think it's money's the issue I think it's it's how we spend in how we appropriated is where we need to look and where. You know frankly we've we've done a lot of work for we've we've made some progress -- we we have a long way to go. Are giving other complaints that so and so that's good example -- -- -- Specific example. Between 2000 in 2019. Are up one department state government -- -- of education. Issued by -- 1400. In nineteen consulting contracts. Spent 615. Million. Now know that money when the clash. In most -- went out stay potential. We are they tired. -- Organs state university. Who else thinking it would probably touched. I'm not but don't -- extraordinary burst into muscle. Just don't study that they were group called via a Republican this contractor group called hop to a music companies. I'm not making this up. They opt to music company to come in an interchange some some officials at the Department of Education. In one there's some. You know. 101000 here millionaire is it lands it'll. It in it these -- dollars. First of all that -- -- taxpayer money taxpayers are better. But secondly the money has come and have a Adam -- -- subtler Delgado -- coastal restoration. And that and that that's what is really frustrating about you know veto -- Bill is that you know he's found that pill every year are believed John and and you know we've a lot of us in the house of supported every year. And he made some concessions -- believe it was his bill in the in the final form says that if there was a contractor were 40000 dollars and had to be. Did joint budget approval so it didn't actually say. The contract could go away but let's let it go in for a joint budget and see if it's something that's. That is a priority for that particular year in -- some of these guns consultant jobs and contracts. Maybe they -- good you know maybe they are doing some good things but when times are tough when where disproportionately cutting higher Ed. You know maybe a week we cut back or maybe we don't renew that contract for the idea maybe we renew it you know in 2016 -- 2017. But you know. And it was you know -- I as well as as he -- thought we finally got -- he finally got in and out in a posture that people could live with you just the fact that it. It you know may through the senate in and they vetted it. It was it was a shame to see that bill that bill go down but I'm sure I'll -- again next year was that vetoed over. Yeah the it was. Immediately it is specific example. Contract number 7086. More. Here's the description contract quote contractor to and form and educate. The Hispanic community and -- agent acted scared of -- built huge. It's 7100. And we're paying an individual probably politically connected in Alexandria. To go around just end and the activation and and and and wreckage -- like ankle or else. And -- our Hispanic neighbors you know worries. It's all mostly see that's one nice thing to do. Go ask some faculty members were playing at about lead analogies to go to University of Texas University of Alabama I'm lucky. Go ask him how they think about that it will only lead you know but but they -- -- the Kurdish courage there's a universe to think that some. So how does that contract get through. Just as part of it. Not the legislatures all. -- department. Without without anybody knowing about it should contract hasn't -- -- able to. But we have 191000. Problem many of them are -- out. A lot of them did not crack into. -- and and another one year contracts 6741. Arena and Angela. Is but 250000. Dollar contract. Quote contractor. To provide adequate and reliable data to parents. To support informed. School -- watched the -- You can build web site for about 101000 dollars in direct mayor and take the other 240000. Dollars in -- schoolteacher living wage. And you can impact the education a lot more. There are politically connected 250000. Dollar you consult. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue to talk about the state budget right after this on Angel under the anyway talking about the state budget. Again I continue to learn a lot let me ask both of our guest -- sabres and -- Talbott and our state treasurer John Kennedy. The governor spent 500 or not the hired a company to find 500 million dollars in waste. -- and that was a good thing because you know that's independently look at the waste and try to. What happened to that because all of those suggestions. Did. We eliminate. Any of it. Well that it's -- -- -- the Alvarez yes contract in the -- com. Many of those things were in the I can't college -- -- under the name of right to streamline report were in the streamline report. You know I don't think we need to to spend five million dollars. To do something that our state employees should be doing an administration to tell us where those cuts are you know we can show you where the cuts are on the house. You know ideas to where they're needed where they're needed. Right is that my my understanding was that some some of these things were proposed but when I got down to nobody wanted to give exact. Well that's that's what happened and can't look Alvarez Marcel that you really did come. They -- paid a million dollars but. Two years ago the governor put together streamline commission on Bobby and rappers and institutional and actually handle it partnership on. And it's just come up with recommendations which media like reduce the consulting contracts and Indonesian -- of the things Kirk's been trying to pass bills on. And the governor -- -- -- -- commission he would do anymore would recommend and and in the end he went out and they went out our operation Marcia help. Patent five million dollars in the game it's a great group that but. We'd already -- the war to. And into my -- the legislatures not adopted -- in their suggestions shall. We only have a couple of minutes we have some wonderful callers on an -- and jumped to that what you all are asking. Which is one we're gonna talk about. Is anybody talking about a recall of Jindal but beyond that is there anyway to bypass the governor's veto. Well you didn't -- You know after the and a session we fill out ballots whether it's saying that we don't wanna go to. The veto session which is automatically call for. After session so you fill much of ballot saying I do not wanna -- tuned into veto session I won't fill -- that ballot is I think we. We do on two bills the circus he bill budget look into that can veto and but -- the chances of that happening are. A very slam I believe John concur right from wrong that the only time the legislature is overridden Vito and in modern times it was a abortion bill that that Buddy Roemer. Pro life with a Buddy -- had. It's but I mean Johnny can make it -- It's. Unrealistic and book army and together. Under constitution he has that perhaps looser or Ike did to -- ability to. I think he was wrong in the -- deal but he has like what what. We managed to strong war would disappoint you know Angela is that. The only he'll show right now. Beach defending his feet depending. He would he would support paying some money 57000. Dollars tell people where -- seat belts. But it -- playing time meat and onion that's what leadership is about that's -- -- but. When he vetoes our bill which passed both houses I was disappointed but -- under our constitution as the right to do that but the. Well before in our last thirty seconds I'll be I'll kick myself -- I don't ask. Any thought about you running for governor. -- I'm not I'm not running for something so let's get it from John Kennedy. Most of most most days I am running for my -- on things I don't know what will happen in the future handle on them what will open Vanderbilt went without rules. That's where I went screw. -- -- that your phone numbers on the continue to calling them and continue to ask every day he's still running. Are you gonna run for governor. Thank you so much both of you are going on and thank you callers and so are we couldn't get to everybody but I hope that answer at least a couple of questions. And stay with us everyone will be right back.