Saturday, May 02, 2009

I'm a diehard Saints fan, but where are our priorities? | News | New Saints deal questioned — Baton Rouge, LA
Even as Gov. Bobby Jindal and Saints owner Tom Benson announced from New Orleans their proposed new deal Thursday, some legislators in Baton Rouge questioned whether the state could afford to support the professional football team.

“This is a great day for Saints fans and the whole state of Louisiana,” Jindal said at a news conference inside the Louisiana Superdome where he and Benson announced a complex deal to keep the team in New Orleans through 2025.

Members of the Legislature are being asked to make deep cuts in higher education and health-care programs. The state faces a $1.3 billion drop in revenue for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and must cut state services to balance Jindal’s $26.7 billion budget.

State Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, echoed the comments of some House colleagues when he said Benson is wealthy enough to operate his business without help from the state.

Jones called the deal: “A welfare check for one of the richest men in Louisiana and we’re emptying our schools out.”

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