Treasurer Kennedy Credits Senate Leadership for Moving HB 142 Forward

BATON ROUGE, LA -The Senate Finance Committee unanimously adopted a compromise bill to cut state consulting contracts today, and HB 142 by Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard now moves to the Senate floor for a vote, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.

“Nothing makes it easier to resist temptation than good values, a proper upbringing and witnesses,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “This bill provides the witnesses. I want to thank Dee Richard for being a road warrior for higher education and the protection of taxpayer dollars. I also want to thank the members of our higher education community who came out and spoke in support of the bill today and our Senate leadership for helping craft a compromise bill that will finally make meaningful cuts to wasteful contracts.”

The Finance Committee amended HB 142 to provide that all state dollar contracts totaling $40,000 or more of General Fund and Over-Collections Fund dollars have to go to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget for final approval. The Joint Budget Committee could then approve the contract, ask for revisions, or disapprove the contract and direct the savings to higher education. If the bill becomes law, it will be in effect for the next three fiscal years.

“The bill is important to our state, because the carnage in higher education must end,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “The formula for a better Louisiana is simple: real jobs for adults and a good education for our children. We can’t have one without the other.”

Treasurer Kennedy credits Senate President John A. Alario and Senate Finance Chairman Jack Donahue for working up the compromise needed to get HB 142 through committee. Historically, previous versions of the bill have sailed through the House of Representatives but stalled in the Senate.

“This has never been tried before, but the impossible is often just the untried,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “For the first time the Legislature will be able to take a hard look at these contracts; eliminate the obviously frivolous ones; and potentially generate money for higher education.”

Sarah Mulhearn
(225) 342-0012