La. state treasurer calls for cuts to state spending instead of tax increases

La. state treasurer calls for cuts to state spending instead of tax increases

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana's state treasurer told legislators to manage through pending budget cuts rather than increase taxes.

State Treasurer John Kennedy aid Louisiana must stop spending more money than it brings in as lawmakers have just under three weeks to find $900 million to close the state deficit.

"We've either got to reduce our spending, or we've got to turn to Louisiana families and businesses and say we want you to cut your budget so we don't have to cut ours, and that's what we're down to," said Kennedy.

Kennedy brought a visual aid to the State Capitol Thursday to show what he calls a lot of wasteful spending. He presented a binder with a list of over 5,000 consulting contracts the state was in over a five-year period for which the state spends millions, and that list was only for the education department.

Kennedy said when lawmakers add them all up it totals millions and millions of dollars.

"And we're telling people we're broke, and they've got to pay more personal income tax and corporate income tax and corporate franchise tax and business inventory tax and utility taxes and telecommunications taxes?" said Kennedy.

Commissioner Jay Dardenne said the Governor's Office will re-evaluate all of the contracts to see which ones the state really needs to spend money on.

Lawmakers still have a lot of work to do to get any closer to closing the state's budget deficit.

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