Opinion Columns

A Plan to Balance the State Budget Without Destroying Health Care and Higher Education

By State Treasurer John KennedyLouisiana is facing a $2 billion to $3 billion budget deficit next year. Here’s how we can deal with it: 1. Do not raise taxes or fees. We do not need…

START Saving for College Using State’s 529 Plan

By State Treasurer John KennedyWhether your child just started his first day of kindergarten or is about to enter high school, it is never too late to prepare for the rising costs of college. One…

Legislative Session Another Missed Opportunity for Meaningful Budget Reform

By State Treasurer John KennedyThe legislative session began with a lot of promise. We heard talk of “competitive budgeting,” “performance-based appropriations” and “prioritizing expenditures.” Politicians are usually incrementalists, a nip here and a tuck there,…

State Needs to Help Local Governments Affected by Oil Spill

By State Treasurer John KennedyLouisiana needs to ensure that local governments and parishes do not face financial troubles in the short-term as a result of the oil spill disaster. One of the biggest financial threats…

Be Wary of Unclaimed Property ‘Finders’

By State Treasurer John KennedyThe Louisiana Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division has received several complaints from Louisiana residents who have been contacted by individuals offering to help locate unclaimed property for a fee….

One-Of-a-Kind Bond Security and Redemption Fund Protects La. Bondholders and Taxpayers

By State Treasurer John KennedyIf the nation’s recent financial crisis has taught us anything it’s the importance of going back to the basics when it comes to managing money. We’ve seen the devastating effects of…

Purchasing Private Insurance for Qualified Medicaid Recipients Could Save $100 Million

By State Treasurer John KennedyAnother legislative session has just begun, and lawmakers will have their work cut out for them as they whittle away at a ballooning budget and a large deficit. It may seem…

Successes and Shortcomings of the Work of the Streamlining Commission

By State Treasurer John KennedyThe Louisiana Streamlining Government Commission, of which I am a member, has made 238 recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor in the first phase of its work to restructure and…

State Must Reign In Consulting Contracts

By State Treasurer John KennedyThere has been an explosion in the number of contracts the state awards for various consulting services. State agencies and departments currently spend approximately $7 billion on 16,000 contracts; many are…

State Must Adopt New Approach to Stop School to Prison Pipeline

By State Treasurer John KennedyEach day, 80 students drop out of Louisiana public elementary and secondary schools. Louisiana’s high school graduation rate is well below the national average, and in 2006, the state ranked fifth…