I write in response to a letter to the editor from Mr. Stanley Jacobs titled “LSU needs a source of money” last week. Mr. Jacobs, a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors for the last 15 years, certainly is qualified to understand that LSU, my alma mater, stands to lose more funding in next fiscal year’s budget.
But I’d like to ask Mr. Jacobs if he was familiar with House Bill 142 from last year’s legislative session? I’m sure he is not because HB 142 was going to do exactly what he calls for. In his letter, he states, “the governor and the legislature need to identify a stream of income that can be dedicated to higher education.”
HB 142 was designed to cut consulting contracts with state government by 10 percent of the previous years’ total of all contracts and it also was going to require that any contract up for renewal worth $40,000 or more would be reviewed by the Legislature’s joint committee on the budget. Any contract NOT renewed by the committee, those dollars saved would be DIRECTED to HIGHER EDUCATION. We actually titled the bill the “Higher Education Financing Fund” and this bill passed BOTH houses UNANIMOUSLY.
Where was the LSU Board of Supervisors when we needed their support? Mr. Jacobs doesn’t recall it by reading his letter. Where was Dr. F. King Alexander and Dr. Sandra Woodley? Where were the Board of Regents, whose only answer to the funding shortage is to keep allowing them to raise tuition. HB 142 WAS EXACTLY THAT: a “STREAM of INCOME DEDICATED to HIGHER EDUCATION.”
Unfortunately, our governor saw no need for this and vetoed the bill.
My advice to Mr. Jacobs and his board would be to ask Treasurer John Kennedy to address their board one day and find out where other streams of income can be found.
retired School Board member