Louisiana is facing a $2 billion to $3 billion budget deficit next year, he said.
We do not need to raise taxes. We can eliminate 5,000 jobs a year for three years by not filling vacancies.
“State government is top heavy and needs to reorganize,” he said.
He advised we require a supervisor to manage 10 workers. Today 22 percent of state supervisors manage only one employee. We could eliminate 1,600 of the state’s 16,000 consultants, he said.
Let’s review Medicaid hospitalizations for medical necessity. It’s five times cheaper to treat a patient in a clinic than in a hospital and often emergency-room visits are not emergencies. The state drug list should include the most effective drugs at the lowest price for each illness.
“We don’t do a very good job collecting what’s due us,” he said. We need centralized collection, automated notices and tax refund offsets to collect past-due accounts receivable.
To reduce the recidivism rate, have state prisoners earn a GED as an incentive for probation or parole.
Kennedy entertained questions from the group and said he would not be running for governor but will be running for re-election for treasurer one more time.