Kennedy says no to education, health care budget cuts

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POSTED: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 4:12pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 1:14pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- Education and health care are two areas that could feel some significant cuts in the 2011 State budget. But today, State Treasurer John Kennedy says those cuts may not be necessary at all.

“We need to make some changes in our health care, but you’re not going to solve the problem in health care by continuing to cut provider rates,” Kennedy said to NBC33 News after giving a speech at the Louisiana Hospital Association. “You know what hospitals will do when they face a bad economy, they don’t get rid of their doctors or nurses, they cut their overhead.

“Does it hurt? Sure. But they do it,” he added. “Welcome to the real world state government.”

As the upcoming 2011 Legislative session draws closer, the battle over the budget will become even more relevant. That’s because Louisiana is looking at a near $2 billion cut to 2011 state budget. The reduction will call for cut backs, however, Kennedy proposes looking at other areas rather than at higher education and health care.

“We don’t have to raise taxes. We don’t have to destroy higher education. We don’t have to destroy health care. And frankly, we don’t have to raise tuition,” he explained. “We’ve just got to spend our money differently.”

Kennedy did point out other areas where the financial belt could be tightened. He notes 24 places where cuts can be made in the state budget without making cuts to health care or education.

To see the first 16 points he proposes, click here.

To see the additional 8 points he proposes, click here.

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