"What we have done to education, to higher education in particular in Louisiana, is a disgrace, and as a state official I am embarrassed," says Kennedy. "Most of our kids today are graduating with a degree in debt. Other states are lowering their tuition in a knowledge based economy, we're raising ours. We don't need to."
Treasurer Kennedy spoke to faculty and staff at LSU-Shreveport about supporting HB 142.
If passed, the bill would reduce spending on state government consulting contracts by 10%.
"We paid $94,000 to an Oakland, California, consultant to come in and analyze how our children play at recess and lunch periods," says Kennedy. "I mean, I consider that a total waste of money."
That would save the state approximately $528 million.
Kennedy says the savings should go to colleges and universities across the state.
"We have enough money, we just need to spend it on our priorities,” says Kennedy. “And we need to set our priorities and stick to them."
Over the years, Kennedy says higher education has been cut by lawmakers, because they lack political will to tell consultants no.
“When you're spending $5 billion on consultants and you want to take 10% away, those consultants fight back, and many of them make campaign contributions,” says Kennedy.
Next week, HB 142 will go before the Senate Finance Committee.
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