As you know, the Louisiana Legislature will begin its 2012 Regular Session on Monday, March 12th, and will adjourn on Monday, June 4th. As always, important work awaits us when we return to Baton Rouge. Budget hearings will begin in the important Appropriations Committee on March 6th and will continue through the first few weeks of Session. At this time, the State faces an $800 million dollar shortfall for the upcoming budget year, and these hearings will go a long way to determine where scarce resources will be allocated. It is crucial that I hear from you, as your opinions, ideas, and input are extremely important to me.
Last month, Governor Jindal submitted his Executive Budget to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. To review his plans for Fiscal Year 2012-13, please go to www.doa.louisiana.gov. The Governor has proposed significant changes to the Public Retirement System, additional employee contributions to the retirement system, the Sale of the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital Property, the partial Privatization of the Office of Group Benefits, as well as the Privatization and Sale of State Prisons, among other things to assist in balancing this year's budget.
Education Reform and Retirement Reform top the list of the Governor's highest priorities for the Session. Here are some details of those proposals and other of the Governor's proposed changes: