The following is a news release from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. It is dated December 29, 2009.
BATON ROUGE, LA – Today, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) announced $875,206 in mid-year budget cuts effective immediately as part of the mid-year across-the-board state general fund reduction of 7.56 percent to all state agencies. Savings include eliminating unfilled vacancies in areas such as planning, training, regional coordination, facility support, internal auditing, critical infrastructure protection, and interoperable communications.
As part of the streamlining efforts, GOHSEP has partnered with both the Louisiana State Police to utilize its state owned fuel depots and fleet maintenance garages instead of using privately owned facilities and the Louisiana National Guard to utilize storage trailers reducing monthly operating costs. GOHSEP will also reduce all travel, training, supplies and professional service contracts essential to carrying out the mission of the agency for the remainder of the fiscal year.
GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper said, "We understand the state's budget crisis and that no agency is immune from these mid-year reductions. Prior to the announced mid-year cuts, GOHSEP began working diligently and innovatively to identify any cost savings and revenue generating opportunities to finance our important programs. For example, this year we entered into a corporate partnership with Wal-Mart for our 'Get a Game Plan' campaign. We are working to identify other potential partnerships. Also, Louisiana has made significant advances in its preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, especially related to hurricanes. While the mid-year budget cut is a challenge, we will not lose the momentum we began in our response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike."