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Senator Jack Donahue Newsletter - Mounting Problems PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, May 18 2010 - 2:37 pm

The oil spill is continuing to cause major problems at the capitol.  Since the leak is still not contained, there appears to be no end in sight for either the cleanup or the damages.  Needless to say, the governor and his staff are consumed with the problems associated with this catastrophe, leaving less time to deal with legislative issues.

I am concerned about a trend I see in Baton Rouge these days and that is to figure out where to get the money to fill the holes in the state budget instead of cutting the size of state government.  There are three essential problems we must address:

  • The current fiscal year has a deficit of $319 million which must be covered between now and the end of June (FY10).
  • The budget we are working on which starts the new fiscal year on July 1, 2010, is dealing with a billion dollar shortfall (FY11).  Remember, revenues are stable . . . the problem is that expenses are increasing.
  • The huge deficit we are facing in two years (FY12) is estimated to be $2 billion.  In this case revenues are also projected slightly up but expenses are continuing to surge.

To get money many things are being proposed including dismantling higher education, continuing to cut our community hospitals’ reimbursement rates and spending less on roads and bridges while continuing to build buildings we cannot even afford to maintain.

There are many of us, Democrat and Republican alike, who believe that we must now reduce the size of state government to prepare for the huge shortfalls ahead.  The idea that we can continue to "find" money to plug these huge holes is flawed to say the least and will lead to financial disaster ahead.  This session is about who wins the battle described above.   Who wins will determine the future of the state and its residents for years to come.

Prayers would help.

Thank you for all your support,