Unclear whether bill intended to reduce number of state employees will have significant impact
Baton Rouge — It may not be surprising that state Senator Jack Donahue’s legislation to reduce Louisiana’s disproportionately large government work force was met with criticism. What is surprising is that much of this criticism comes from administrators that support its underlying goal.
Louisiana’s executive branch of government has over 83,000 employees, and total state employment, on a per capita basis, is 38 percent higher than the national average. With Senate Bill 293, Jack Donahue (R-D11) sought to reduce the number of state employees by five percent each year for the next three years, in line with the recommendation of the Commission on Streamlining Government (of which he is chairman).
Along with the employment reduction goals, SB 293 mandates an “agency attrition analysis,” to clarify who is coming and going and how each agency is handling employee allocation.
However, after SB 293’s passage this legislative session and enactment on August 15th, State Treasurer John Kennedy was openly critical and both the former and current commissioners of administration dismissed it as watered down, superfluous, and simplistic.