Louisiana appears to be better prepared for the economic downturn than other states. Governor Bobby Jindal tells our David D’Aquin we’re in pretty good shape. The Governor says Louisiana’s economy is strong because of ethics reforms and tax cuts. But he said, even though Louisiana is sitting pretty right now, the state is not immune to the national economic crisis.
Many states across the nation are looking at deficits and big time budget cuts and while Louisiana is facing it’s share of economic hardships, the Governor says Louisiana is in pretty good shape. “We’ve outperformed the national economy for the last 12 months and the southeast economy. We’re in the bottom ten for foreclosures.”
But even though the Louisiana economy is relatively strong, state agencies have been ordered to make cuts. Jindal says the cuts have been proactive and he intends to make changes in state government. “Continuing to enact those kinds of policies that have allowed us to outperform the national economy and continue to create jobs even while the country is going through these economically challenging times.”
Louisiana isn’t immune to the economic downturn though and Jindal says there could be troubled times ahead. “The reality is, if you look at the projections, our biggest challenges are in 2011 and 2012 and that’s why it’s important that we start now to be ready for that fiscal year.”
Jindal says things could turn around and Louisiana has been adding jobs. “We were the only state last month that added jobs while the nation was losing jobs.” According to Jindal, Louisiana is better positioned than other states to ride out the recession. “But we’re not immune to what’s happening in the national economy, and that concerns us because the longer this recession drags out, it will have an impact on Louisiana. We’re already beginning to see it.”
Jindal says the way to stay ahead of the recession is to create laws and tax cuts that are friendly to businesses to help encourage growth here in Louisiana. The legislative session starts in late April and we’ll keep you up to date on the economy here in Louisiana.