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Jun 21, 2013
Governor Jindal Signs HB 1 with Line-Item Vetoes, Announces Additional Reductions Based on Preamble of the Budget Bill

BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal signed HB 1, including line-item vetoes, and announced additional reductions that were authorized and directed in the preamble of the bill.

The Governor’s letter for HB 1 is below:

June 21, 2013

Mr. Alfred W. Speer
Clerk of the House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

Mr. Glenn Koepp
Secretary of the Senate
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

RE: House Bill No. 1 of the 2013 Regular Session of the Legislature Provide for the ordinary operating expenses of state government for Fiscal Year 2013-2014

Dear Gentlemen:

As authorized by Article III, Section 18(B), and more particularly, Article IV, Section 5(G)(1) of the Constitution of Louisiana, I have exercised my right to veto 31 items of the General Appropriation Bill. I respectfully request that you deliver on my behalf the following message to the members of the Legislature:

Both the House and Senate did great work on a fiscally responsible budget that is good for the people of Louisiana.  The single biggest challenge facing the budget was the Medicaid rate change made by Congress last July, lowering Louisiana’s FMAP rate to the lowest it’s been in 25 years, with a total impact to Louisiana’s healthcare budget of $1.8 billion. Despite this challenge, the budget protects funding for healthcare. The budget also includes tens of millions of dollars more for higher education next year. 

The hard work of legislators from both parties and increased revenue projections have produced a balanced budget that invests in our top priorities and protects our reforms. We’ve made an investment of an additional $69 million in K-12 education, half of which will go toward teacher pay raises, and protected our historic educations reforms from last session, including the Louisiana Scholarship Program and our changes to teacher tenure—all without raising taxes. We’ve also rejected the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion that could have cost Louisianians $1.7 billion while moving over 240,000 of our citizens off of private insurance.

With this budget, Louisiana continues to chart a path that expands economic opportunities for our people while reducing government’s footprint, not only shrinking its size and cost, but making government more effective and efficient by consolidating functions and applying smarter technologies that save taxpayer dollars.

By pursuing such initiatives, the FY 14 Budget reflects the strategic reduction of more than 12,000 full-time executive branch positions, a number that brings the total of state government positions reduced since the beginning of our administration to over 28,000.  Even before the new position reductions passed in this budget, the number of state government employees is already at its lowest level in over 20 years.

While protecting critical services and restructuring government operations, the FY 14 Budget  includes total funding of $25.4 billion, a decrease of $350 million, compared to the FY 13 total existing operating budget of $25.75 billion.

As such, the budget reflects our belief that Louisiana’s future success doesn’t depend on a larger government that takes more resources away from our private sector economy, nor a larger role for government in the lives of our citizens.  Instead, it continues our efforts to make government nimbler, more compact, and more modernized, saving money while at the same time improving and protecting critical services.

I commend the Legislature for its work.

This letter is to communicate that I have vetoed items in House Bill No. 1, as follows:

VETO MESSAGE N0. 1
On page 2, at the end of line 8, delete "or the"; on line 9, delete "Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,": 

This language is unnecessary to achieve efficiencies and savings that help protect critical services such as higher education and healthcare; therefore, I am vetoing this item.

VETO MESSAGE N0. 2
On page 4, line 22, after "department.", delete the remainder of the line; delete line 23 in its entirety:

This language is unnecessary to achieve efficiencies and savings that help protect critical services such as higher education and healthcare; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 3
On page 5, delete lines 22 through 30 in their entirety, and on page 6, delete lines 1 through 2 in their entirety: 

Louisiana Revised Statutes 23:332 prohibits intentional discrimination in employment; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 4
On page 20, delete lines 54 through 56 in their entirety:

This language is unnecessary as additional funds were provided to restore adequate funding for local emergency management programs; therefore, I am vetoing this item.                                
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 5
On page 27, delete lines 40 through 42 in their entirety:

The additional positions and funding conflict with the effort of downsizing the state government; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 6
On page 60, delete lines 51 and 52 in their entirety: 

This activity has been adequately funded in the budget; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 7
On page 92, delete lines 44 through 46 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 8
On page 94, delete lines 31 through 33 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 9
On page 96, delete lines 9 through 11 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 10
On page 96, delete lines 49 through 51 in their entirety:

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 11
On page 98, delete lines 4 through 6 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 12
On page 102, delete lines 31 through 38 in their entirety:

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 13
On page 103, delete lines 1 through 26 in their entirety: 
 
This is a contingency.  Senate Bill 125 and House Bill 233 failed to pass; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 14
On page 103, delete lines 35 through 42 in their entirety: 
 
In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 15
On page 104, delete lines 1 through 9 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 16
On page 106, delete lines 35 through 37 in their entirety: 

There is no actual funding source to generate the funds; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 17
On page 108, delete lines 4 through 6 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 18
On page 109, delete lines 1 through 3 in their entirety: 
 
In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 19
On page 112, delete lines 1 through 3 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 20
On page 114, delete lines 14 through 17 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 21
On page 118, delete lines 25 through 27 in their entirety:

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 22
On page 119, delete lines 36 through 38 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 23
On page 120, delete lines 36 through 38 in their entirety:

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 24
On page 121, delete lines 36 through 38 in their entirety: 

In light of the legislative reduction to Medicaid utilization, this program expansion cannot be funded; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 25
On page 127, delete lines 35 through 37 in their entirety:

A separate amendment provides $2,400,000 of State General Fund (Direct) which will maintain the FY 2012-2013 level of funding. This amendment is duplicative; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 26
On page 129, delete lines 39 through 41 in their entirety: 

This amendment would reduce funding necessary for consolidation of back office functions resulting in savings that help protect critical services such as higher education and health care; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 27
On page 150, deletes lines 24 through 28 in their entirety:

This language is unnecessary to achieve the goals and objectives of the department's aquatic weed control initiatives in the most cost effective manner; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 28
On page 171, line 16, after “operations.”, delete the remainder of the line; delete lines 17 through 18 in their entirety:

The implementation of this amendment would limit the budgetary discretion of the Southern University Board of Supervisors; therefore, I am vetoing this item. 
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 29
On page 211, delete lines 49 through 51 in their entirety:

This amendment provides for a reduction in professional services contracts which would inhibit the state's ability to adequately measure student progress in elementary and secondary education as well as prevent the department from initiating contracts relating to the implementation of the Early Childhood Program as contained in Act 3 of the 2012 Regular Session.  The Department, local school systems, and child care centers rely on this information to guide targeted interventions for students and professional development for educators; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 30
On page 232, delete lines 17 through 20 in their entirety:

This amendment would reduce funding necessary to meet contractual obligations; therefore, I am vetoing this item.
 
VETO MESSAGE N0. 31
On page 235, delete lines 1 through 8 in their entirety: 

House Bill No. 320 of the 2013 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature was not enacted into law; therefore, I am vetoing this item.

Sincerely,


Bobby Jindal
Governor

--------------

In addition, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols today outlined further reductions in response to language the Legislature included in the preamble to HB 1, which stated:

The commissioner of administration is hereby authorized and directed to reduce the State General Fund (Direct) appropriations contained in this Act to achieve a State General Fund (Direct) savings of at least $20,000,000.

After applying some savings resulting from line-item vetoes, savings will be achieved based on departments’ share of General Fund dollars, with targeted reductions to expenditures such as vacant positions, personnel costs, professional services, supplies, travel, and acquisitions.

Because the Legislature included separate reductions in the budget for the Department of Health and Hospitals, that department is not included in the Preamble reductions, the result of which was significantly less flexibility with regard to available discretionary General Fund dollars and a corresponding adjustment to other departments’ share of the Preamble reductions.

Reduction amounts by department, which will be reflected in their respective appropriation letters, are as follows:

Executive Department: $758,390
Veterans Affairs: $48,117
Attorney General: $65,368
Lt. Governor: $13,317
Agriculture and Forestry: $236,207
Economic Development: $140,676
Culture, Recreation and Tourism: $313,101
Corrections: $4,172,806
This General Fund reduction is being offset by an increase of $3.1 million in excess Fees and Self-Generated Revenue.
Children and Family Services: $1,327,485
Natural Resources: $68,327
Environmental Quality: $4,623
Workforce Commission: $76,186
Ethics Administration: $35,270
State Police Commission: $4,494
Div. of Administrative Law: $2,977
Board of Regents: $11,261,999
This General Fund reduction is expected to be more than offset by an anticipated increase in Fees and Self-Generated Revenue not budgeted for in HB 1.  However, even with this reduction, FY 14 funding for higher education schools will see an increase of over $40 million.
BESE: $9,885
Dept. of Education: $1,460,772

 
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