Kennedy defends his solution to budget crisis

Treasurer John Kennedy - Budget Crisis

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As state budget talks enter the fourth day in Baton Rouge, State Treasurer John Kennedy explains how he would solve the crisis.

Governor John Bel Edwards has called for tax increases, and says without additional tax revenue, critical state services could be cut.

Kennedy disagrees, and believes the problem can be solved by reigning in what he calls "wasteful spending."

Critics counter that cuts alone cannot fix the shortfall in the short term.

And they argue Kennedy's suggestions are outdated, but he says that is not true.

"This is a report from the legislative auditor. It says last year, the legislative auditor did 36 audits of state agencies and found $1.7 billion in waste. The reports are about six years old," Kennedy said. "I did send him one from back in 1995, done by the secure commission, because the issues they were struggling with then, we're struggling with now, because nobody did anything. You know, the Bible's old too, doesn't mean it's not true."

The $25 billion budget has a shortfall ranging from $850 million to $950 million.

Lawmakers have four months to come up with a solution.

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