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State Treasurer John Kennedy discusses state budget cuts

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BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's state budget crisis is a hot topic these days. State Treasurer John Kennedy joined 2une In this morning to give his take on Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed budget, who's to blame and how he proposes to fix it.

Higher education is facing $141 million in proposed cuts. Kennedy believes they're unnecessary.

"We don't have to do this," he told News 2's John Pastorek. "The Governor's people worked really hard on their budget...and when you strip away the rhetoric and look at what they're proposing....that we raise taxes $700 million, mostly on businesses. Then we still have to cut higher education $211 million dollars, and we still have $300 million in non-recurring revenue in the budget, which caused the problem in the first place."

When discussing the budget plan, Kennedy believes lawmakers should put aside tax issues and focus on spending.

"In the past 8 years, we've gone from spending about $5.5-5.6 billion on Medicaid...we're now spending $8.2 billion and climbing," Kennedy explains. "There's some money in the Medicaid program we're spending that we can reduce without impacting quality of care."

He gives unnecessary emergency room visits as an example.

Watch the video for more information.



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