By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Jindal administration's layoff of more than 7,700 LSU hospital workers has put a major dent in the state employee retirement system's debt, dropping it hundreds of millions of dollars.
Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed to turn over the operations of LSU hospitals to private companies. Seven deals have taken effect. Many laid off state workers have been rehired by the new hospital managers.
Cindy Rougeou, executive director of the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System says cutting state employee rolls drops the future obligations of the system. The Legislature's financial analysts say that helped drop LASERS unfunded liability by about $400 million.
However, the layoffs also will force state agencies to pay larger contribution rates next year for employee retirement, because the workforce paying off the retirement debt is now smaller.