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La. streamlining commission wraps up its work

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Posted: Nov 1, 2011 3:01 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2011 3:01 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Streamlining, Work, Wraps, Up

BATON ROUGE, La. - A state cost-cutting commission formed to make suggestions during several budget shortfalls is going away at the end of the year.

The Commission on Streamlining Government held its final meeting Tuesday to review what happened to its 238 recommendations for reducing state spending, cutting programs and shrinking the government work force.

The 10-member panel, led by Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, began its work in July 2009 and submitted its recommendations by that year's end.

The commission estimates that the most significant recommendations that have been followed have saved the state more than $750 million over three years.

Among the ideas embraced by the streamlining panel and followed by agencies were proposals to: shrink the number of state-owned cars, reduce the number of managers in state agencies and privatize several functions of state offices, like lab services, utilities, printing and food services.

"I hate to see this commission sunset. This commission made some people uncomfortable, and made some people uncomfortable in the Legislature, and that's a good thing," said Treasurer John
Kennedy, a member of the panel. "It did its job."

The legislation setting up the streamlining commission only created the panel through 2011.

According to Senate staff, 62 recommendations were completed, another 62 weren't followed at all and the others are in various stages of being put into practice.

Ina LaBorde, representing the local public employees union, said several of the cuts recommended by the streamlining commission forced workers out of their jobs and onto public assistance, raising state costs elsewhere.

She urged state officials to pay attention to how layoffs and privatization impact people's jobs and livelihoods.

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