LA Gov. Jindal Eyes "Slush Fund" Veto

Jindal may veto “slush fund” expenditures

“Non-Governmental Organizations” (NGOs) have long been the recipients of state funds as directed by the State Legislature. In the old system, there was one designated slush fund for the “urban caucus” and another for the “rural caucus”. In practice, these NGOs have received little attention; their “community development” missions are difficult to audit and control. Plundering of tax money directed to New Orleans’ NGOs was one of the tricks of the notorious Jefferson clan.

Now, Jindal wields the line item veto. This action should warm the cockles of any fiscal conservative’s heart.

Jindal told legislators in April that projects would have to meet his criteria. He said projects:

  • Must have a statewide or substantial regional impact.

  • Must have been presented or 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.

One example:

State Rep. Pat Smith is pushing money for projects, including the McKinley High School Alumni Association.

McKinley is designated to receive $370,000 in state dollars, largely to provide youth outreach services.

Like many NGOs, McKinley probably would not exist without funding from the state.

A budget filed last year with the state Treasury shows the organization’s sole source of funding was the state. The group expected to spend nearly half of its $125,000 budget on salaries and benefits. About $33,000 was budgeted for contract services, primarily tutors.