BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana agencies are eliminating jobs and contracts and cutting other costs to help rebalance the state budget and close a midyear deficit.
State prisons are replacing guards with security cameras and cutting down on hot meals for inmates. The state's economic development arm is giving out fewer business grants. And the homeland security department is housing vehicles at state garages instead of private warehouses.
Many departments are dropping contracts, shrinking travel and eliminating vacant jobs to reduce costs without much visible impact. But some agencies also are laying off workers.
The state health department is giving pink slips to 445 employees. Twenty-four workers at the social services department will be laid off.
Budget-cutting plans from each agency are due to the governor's fiscal office Friday.