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Former Louisiana budget director asks: $4 million for what?

Something Like the Truth

By Stephen Winham

It recently came to light that the Jindal administration is in the process of spending $4 million on a contract with the New York management firm of Alvarez and Marsal to identify cost savings in Louisiana government. Some of us who have been around awhile thought, “This has to be a joke!”

When I was state budget director, I did research on the many blue ribbon commissions created over the decades to do exactly what this $4 million is supposed to buy. I found evidence of such efforts going all the way back to the Earl Long administration.

Every study I found had included input from the private sector. In the early stages of the Roemer administration (actually beginning before Gov. Roemer took office) a team of private sector CPAs and management specialists spent many months poring over the practices of every executive department and making recommendations for…

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