Bill to cut contracts clears Senate

The state Senate voted 37-0 Tuesday in favor of legislation that State Treasurer John Kennedy has sought for four years to trim the number of contracts in state government.

House Bill 142 isn’t quite what Kennedy wanted. A blanket 10 percent cut in contracts was purged from the bill. Instead, the proposal directs a legislative budget committee to review and approve any contract costing $40,000 or more. Any savings derived from rejecting contracts would go toward higher education. A number of exemptions would apply.

The bill must go back to the House for concurrence on Senate changes. Kennedy watched from the sidelines as the Senate voted on the bill.

In the past, the bill has died in the Senate. Kennedy and the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Dee Richard, No Party-Thibodaux, agreed to the changes that gave the bill momentum.

“It’s not what I wanted, but it will bring transparency to the process,” Kennedy said.

If the bill becomes law and is correctly enforced, he predicted it will generate $100 million for higher education.

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