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KENNEDY: Both The Left And Right Should Fight Food Stamp Fraud

Here are three things on which Louisiana liberals and conservatives should be able to agree. First, Americans are among the most compassionate people in the world.  If you lose your job, you get unemployment benefits.  If you get sick and... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: A Plan To Fund Higher Education

(Editor’s Note: we have a different take on this idea, which you can read here.) Louisiana’s colleges and universities need money.  There’s a way to help them without raising taxes or tuition:  reduce spending on state government’s consulting contracts by... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: If Not Higher Ed, Spend The Surplus On I-49

Louisiana likely will have a surplus from last fiscal year. The state constitution prohibits us from using it for operating expenses like higher education, but we can spend it on infrastructure. We should use it for I-49 South. Here’s why.... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: A Solution To NGO Abuse

Louisianians believe in walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Your actions should match your words. That’s not always so in Louisiana state government. Public officials will tell you the state needs to fund its priorities first — universities,... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Louisiana’s Bondholders And Taxpayers Are Protected From Default

The federal government shutdown is now in its second week. Congress and the President also must make a decision on exceeding the federal debt ceiling by October 17 or the United States could default on its debt, because Washington is... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: There’s A Nice Pot Of Money Available To Fund The Disabled

By now most people know that Governor Jindal vetoed the extra $4 million for at-home services for Louisiana disabled citizens that the Legislature passed last session. In his veto message the Governor said the state can’t afford it. Money is... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Details Matter In Charity Hospital Reform

In 2009, when Alvarez & Marsal, a national performance auditor, recommended a handful of common-sense business practices that would save taxpayers $72 million a year at the state’s Big Charity hospital in New Orleans, I asked for a similar audit... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Budget Maneuver Will Hurt TOPS

In 2001, Louisiana wisely sold a portion of its tobacco settlement with the four major tobacco companies by issuing bonds to investors for around $1 billion.  We put the $1 billion in a constitutionally-protected trust fund dedicated to health, education... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: A Plan B For Income Tax Reform

I appreciate Gov. Jindal’s plan to end Louisiana’s personal and corporate income tax. Our state needs a tax code that looks like somebody designed it on purpose, and the Governor is correct, in my estimation, that the income tax, which... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: The Proposed State Budget Is A Fond Illusion

Imagine, God forbid, that your boss just cut your salary by 25% because business is bad. Instead of reducing your spending or getting a second job, you elect to do the following: 1. Take a cash advance on your credit... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Finally, A Serious Debate On Taxes

Every state relies primarily on one or more of three taxes to raise revenue: income, sales and property. None is perfect or pleasant. It’s more a case of “pick your poison,” and then try to achieve fairness by keeping rates... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Just How Real Is This Medicaid ‘Crisis?’

Last spring the Legislature increased the state’s Medicaid budget by $788 million. Don’t take my word for it. According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, “Prior year actual expenditures for Medicaid indicate total actual expenditures of $6.64 B in FY 12.... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Show Me The Money!

In 1998, the City of Walker hired the state DOTD for $1.3 million to relocate some of Walker’s utility lines. DOTD didn’t send a bill until 2003. After the bill wasn’t paid, DOTD sent a second bill 9 years later... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: A Plan to Solve the Medicaid Crisis

Congress just eliminated the extra Medicaid money it was giving Louisiana because of the hurricanes. With the state match, that means we are facing a deficit of $860 million in our Medicaid program, which provides health care for the poor,... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Louisiana Is A Consultants’ Paradise

Did you ever wonder why taxes go up (think tuition and “user fees”) and yet our colleges and health care get cut every time the legislature meets? It’s not because the state doesn’t have enough of your money. Current year... (Continue reading)

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The Texaco Building Renovation Is A Poster Child For Government Waste

Do you live in a home or apartment that costs $329 per square foot? Me neither. Thanks to your tax dollars, however, 112 New Orleanians will have the opportunity, with subsidized rent, to boot. At its last meeting, while the... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: The Truth About State Job Costs

You may have read or heard that Louisiana state government is spending less of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars because it has fewer employees. That’s not true. It is accurate that we have reduced the number of state jobs over the... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: Why Our Public Officials Should Try Substitute Teaching

Governor Jindal has made the improvement of our public schools the top priority of his second term. He has promised bold reform. Thank you, Governor. Constructive change requires understanding, however. How many of the officials who will help craft a... (Continue reading)

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KENNEDY: On Education Reform, What’s Past Is Prologue

Governor Jindal is right to try to fix our public schools. His proposal to put the best teacher in every classroom by changing the way we hire, fire, promote and pay teachers is critical. We need a teacher evaluation system... (Continue reading)

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The Challenge Of I-49 South

Louisiana has hundreds of needed road projects, the most important of which is the completion of Interstate 49. I-49 North from Shreveport to the Arkansas line will be completed relatively soon. Now we need to get serious about the much... (Continue reading)

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