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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Running Out Of Ink

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 2:58 PM

When you read about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s announcement  regarding the 258 line-item vetoes, do you get the sense he’s bragging? Yesterday, Jindal’s press secretary Melissa Sellers sent out a release with the headline: Governor Jindal Announces 258 Vetoes of More Than $16 Million in HB 1, Most Vetoes in LA History.

            Okay, without debating the virtues or faults of each individual veto, doesn’t this from the outset indicate a lack of communication between Jindal and the Legislature? When the Governor feels he has to personally strike out 258 budget items, more than twice the number executed in the past 12 years, it leaves you wondering why these actions weren’t discussed between Jindal and the leges before it got to this point.

Within Sellers’s release, Jindal writes:

“Therefore, below is a list of criteria for NGO [Nongovernmental Organization] funding required to gain my support; and as such, any NGO funding passed by the Legislature that does not meet the following criteria will be vetoed. NGO funding passed by the State Legislature:

- Must have statewide or substantial regional impact.

- Must have been presented/openly discussed during the legislative session.

- Must be a state agency priority.

-       Must have the proper disclosure form published online prior to consideration for funding (consistent with information provided in the House disclosure form).”


From there, Jindal lists out all 258 vetoes. When the item in question is a NonGovernmental Organization, Jindal simply writes: “This is a NonGovernmental Organization (NGO) funding request, which did not meet the criteria established in my letter of April 30, 2008. Therefore, I am vetoing this item.”

Is that enough? Shouldn’t Jindal give voters and legislators a more complete explanation? Doesn’t the Office of Elderly Affairs, Senior Centers Program, deserve more?   

When I suggested Jindal warm up his veto pen, I hoped he might use it periodically and judiciously. I didn’t think he’d run out of ink.


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