Louisiana’s tight budget outlook provides an opportunity to reform and streamline state government, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday in his opening message to the 2010 Legislature.
Jindal asked lawmakers to work with him on five budget reform efforts, including rewarding state employees on performance rather than tenure and creation of a streamlining commission that would review state agencies on a regular basis to see if their functions are still necessary.
“Yes, this will be a session dominated by debates about the budget and how to do more with less, but at the same time, we must continue to move our state forward,” he said. “We don’t have a moment to spare.”
Jindal said his $24.7 billion executive budget for fiscal 2011 spares higher education and public schools from cuts, but warned lawmakers they face tough decisions in dealing with a $1.3 billion drop in state revenue and federal funding.
“True leadership means not just looking for one-time easy solutions, but rather addressing the fundamental challenges that confront us,” Jindal said. “There are no easy fixes. We can’t tax, borrow, spend our way out of this. We’re going to have to work hard together to do more with less.”
The legislative session is scheduled to last through June 21.