I would like to weigh in on a portion of the Louisiana state budget. Looking at our neighbor states, Arkansas has a population of around 2.9 million people and Mississippi has a population of almost 3 million, whereas Louisiana has a tad more than 4 million, which, on a grand scale, isn’t a whole lot.
Thing is, Arkansas has a budget of $22.6 billion and Mississippi has a budget of $18.7 billion, while Louisiana has a budget of $29 billion and now is going to cut funding to certain areas because there isn’t enough money to go around.
I would ask our legislators to look closely at the new budget before putting the ax to the state’s parks, museums and state historic sites.
In a state where tourism is a large part of our income, our governor is making drastic cuts to one of the very things that brings in tourist dollars. Does this make any sense to you? I think a better idea is to make cuts that won’t affect our income or our heritage as we have done in the past.
Port Hudson State Historic Site and Mansfield State Historic Site are looking at major cuts in money, which, while not closing them, will cut back on personnel and opening times. Mansfield, in particular, recently acquired assets to multiply the size of the site and the answer is to cut personnel so it cannot be properly maintained. Where does this make sense? It does not.
Our governor has little American, or Louisiana, history behind him so he cares little for ours. Please do not allow the budget cuts to hurt our state historic sites and museums because of a person who doesn’t care about a history he is not connected to.
A better cut would be the perks handed out such as golf games and football tickets to legislators. Maybe even cut down on state-funded trips to other states while running for president.
I do realize that cuts are hard. Life is hard. To quote John Wayne, “Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid.” Do not do the stupid thing and slice the budget on sites that produce income and enjoyment for all of the citizens of Louisiana.
Thomas E. Taylor
retired oil field worker