Recently, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) released his budget for next year, calling for cuts in higher education and health care for the uninsured and disabled in order to plug a $1.3 billion shortfall in revenue. Already, hospitals are laying off workers. Yet Jindal is managing to spare some funds for his favorite football team:
The Jindal administration wants to use $85 million of a state surplus as well as pay up to $6 million a year to keep the Saints football team in Louisiana, lawmakers said Wednesday. The deal, described by legislators briefed on the offer, would require the state to pay far less than the $23.5 million the team is receiving in annual cash inducements. … Several lawmakers were critical of the proposal, which coincides with a budget crunch threatening health care and higher education with substantial reduction.
Jindal claims that the team generates millions in revenue every year, but he has pledged to preserve budget-busting tax cuts for upper-income individuals and businesses. State Rep. Karen St. German asked, “Again, behind closed doors, we’re supplementing a multimillionaire. When do we stop the madness and worry about education and health care?”