To balance next year’s budget, the Jindal administration is resorting to the equivalent of combing through Louisiana’s couch cushions, proposing to scrape $231 million from government set-aside funds targeted for motorcycle safety programs, artificial reef construction, economic development, housing, insurance payments, reptile research and more.
The so-called “fund sweeps” aren’t new, but the dollars being raided from some funds are more sizable in the proposal for the upcoming 2011-12 fiscal year that begins July 1.
The money slated to be poached range from just $3 in a fund for school accountability rewards to $60 million from a fund that holds premiums charged to state agencies for insurance coverage. [read more]
A bill that will soon be debated in the Louisiana legislature contains language that appears to clear the way for the state to use money from the potential privatization of the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), the agency that manages state employees’ health insurance, to help plug a budget hole. […]
The Jindal administration is quietly pushing to privatize OGB, a move which critics charge puts the state and its employees at risk of paying more in the long-run. They also say that plans for a sale are at least partly motivated by the OGB’s half billion dollar surplus fund — money that could help alleviate the state’s immediate budget trouble. [read more]