May 22, 2012
Inside This Issue:
- The Truth About State Job Costs
- Budget-Trimming Bills
- Substitute Teaching
- State Bond Commission Update
- Federal Benefits Alert!
The Truth About State Job Costs
You may have read or heard that Louisiana state government is spending less of your
hard-earned taxpayer dollars because it has fewer employees. That's not true.
It is accurate that we have reduced the number of state jobs over the past 6 years or
so by 7%, or about 1.2% a year, mostly by not filling vacancies, but we are spending
at least $650 million more on salaries and benefits after the reduction. In other
words, we're going backwards. READ THE FULL COLUMN
State Treasurer John Kennedy applauded Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard
of Thibodaux and the House of Representatives for the passage of two
bills last week which would reduce the number of state contracts and
shrink the size of the state’s workforce without layoffs.
“I’m pleased that these bills moved forward to begin the challenging process of
setting fiscal priorities in our budget and reducing the size of a state government that
taxpayers can no longer afford,” says Treasurer Kennedy.
HB 327 by mandates a 10% reduction of all state professional, personal, and
consulting service contracts. HB 328, also by Rep. Richard, reduces the state
workforce by not filling 5,000 of the 15,000 annual vacancies over the next three
years. The bills now move to the Senate for debate.
Substitute Teaching Resolution
The Louisiana Legislature formally recognized the
importance of experiencing the issues affecting teachers
and students in the classroom, and passed HCR 63, a
resolution requesting that "legislators, statewide elected
officials, and members of the State Board of Elementary
and Secondary Education volunteer to teach in a public
school for at least two days of each year of their term of office."
State Bond Commission Update
At the last Bond Commission meeting:
The State Bond Commission approved over $8 million in
savings by refinancing existing public debt and $67
million for projects statewide at its May 17th meeting,
according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.
“We saved the taxpayers millions by signing off on the refinancing of public debt for
11 local projects,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “The Bond Commission gave approval
for bonds to construct a new public library in Claiborne Parish as well as various
infrastructure and capital improvement projects across the state.”
Federal Benefits Alert!
Do you receive Social Security, VA or other
federal benefit payments by paper check?
The U.S. Department of the Treasury reports that
they are eliminating paper checks completely and
recommend that you sign up to receive electronic
payments via the U.S. Treasury's Go
Direct Program as soon as possible. The deadline
to switch to an electronic payment method is March 1, 2013. Switch now to one of
the two electronic payment options recommended by the Treasury Department:
- Direct deposit to your checking or savings account, or
- If you don't have a bank account, or prefer a debit card: the Direct Express Debit MasterCard card.
It’s fast, easy and free to make the switch today. You can switch at your local federal
benefit agency office, online at www.GoDirect.org or by calling the U.S. Treasury
Electronic Payment Solution Center at (800) 333-1795.
For direct deposit, you can also switch at your bank or credit union.
For more information: Visit www.GoDirect.org or view the Go Direct instructional
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