Jindal considers new plan for budget cuts

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POSTED: Friday, December 10, 2010 - 1:21pm

UPDATED: Friday, December 10, 2010 - 3:56pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) – Governor Bobby Jindal is considering the sale of state prisons, office building and future lottery proceeds to generate cash to fill holes in the budget. Jindal presented the ideas Thursday, Dec. 9, to top lawmakers.

They’re looking at possible ways to close a $1.6 billion gap in the 2011-12 budget. Among the possibilities are selling prisons in Allen and Winn Parishes, privatizing a state-run health insurance program, selling future lottery proceeds to investors, to get money now. He’s also considering selling some state office buildings and then leasing back the space.

“We know no matter what the ideas we adopt, we do know that though these ideas can help shrink that gap,” Governor Jindal said in a press conference held yesterday in Baton Rouge at the Governor’s Mansion. “There will continue to be a gap. There are no magic solutions. We know we’re going to have to continue to reduce the size of the government.”

The Governor stressed he’s only considering the ideas, but he estimates they could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the state. They would, however, largely drum up one-time money to pay for ongoing expenses.

Jindal also took time after today’s budget meeting to say despite speculation to the contrary, he is definitely running for a second term as governor.

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