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May 23, 2011 7:27 PM by Melissa Hawkes

State Trooper Positions Could be Eliminated

Louisiana's 1.6 billion dollar deficit is forcing lawmakers to make some tough decisions. One state agency that may lose out is Louisiana State Police.
Colonal Mike Edmunson with the state police said, "I can assure you. I don't want to be the first superintendent to have to lay off a state trooper."
He said he's been cutting other positions for the past three and half years and he's tired of it.
"We've reduced in public safety 449 positions and 41 million dollars," he explained.
Already operating at the bare minimum, his department is facing another cut of 80 thousand dollars which means12 troopers would lose their jobs.
"It's all within traffic," he said. "It's the newest ones that have come on. It's the ones out there that are actually on our roads in Louisiana."
State Senator Jonathon Perry said, "we are at an absolute cross-roads right now that we have to make tough decisions and we have to do it without continuing to tax people. That's the bottom line."
Senator Perry said law enforcement is one department he doesn't want to see cut.
"Eighty thousand dollars. Now that may seem like a lot, but on such a large budget, I truly believe that there are ways we can cut in other areas."
The bill still needs to be approved in the house before it even makes it's way to the Senate Finance Committee. Lawmakers have until June 23 to work out the final budget, when session ends.

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