Fiscal Responsibility

In the current economic climate, and because the proposed plan would be the largest economic project in New Orleans history, any decisions must be fiscally responsible. LSU currently expects their proposal to cost a total of $1.2 billion, however there are indications that number is low, especially when factoring in operational costs. While health care facilities are a worthy investment of taxpayer money, the current LSU/VA proposal ignores the savings that renovating Charity Hospital affords. The LSU/VA proposal does not make use of available preservation grants and unnecessarily spends scarce taxpayer dollars to expropriate private lands and evict tenants. The jobs created by this large economic development project would be delayed under the LSU/VA version as a result of this slow and wasteful land acquisition process. As Governor Jindal has made numerous painful cuts on education and health care spending, that LSU has not provided a model operating budget for once the hospital is completed should raise serious questions.

Below you will find a collection of articles pertaining to the preservation issue:

NEPA lawsuit against VA and FEMA for environmental violations

Full text of lawsuit by National Trust For Historic Preservation claims VA and FEMA failed to follow federal environmental requirements for New Orleans hospitals. Filed May 1st, 2009

List of 60 organizations endorsing call for public hearings as of 4/24/09

List of 60 organizations endorsing call for cost-benefit analysis, public hearings, master planning in hospital process

Press release: NEPA lawsuit against VA and FEMA for environmental violations

Lawsuit by National Trust For Historic Preservation claims VA and FEMA failed to follow federal environmental requirements for New Orleans hospitals. Filed May 1st, 2009

Times-Picayune: "Jindal tells New Orleans City Council he still backs hospital"

Gov. Bobby Jindal gave private assurances to New Orleans City Council members that he still backs the proposal to build a $1.2 billion state teaching hospital in lower Mid-City, despite a growing collection of individuals and organizations asking both the council and the governor to reassess the plans.

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41 Organizations Call on Governor and City Leaders For Open Process In Decision-Making For Major Hospitals

On Wednesday, March 25th, 41 local and national organizations - including a diverse range of community groups, professional organizations and planning associations - are asking state and city leaders to engage the public more directly in the search for a solution. Attached is the press release from the event.

Times-Picayune Column: "Unhealthy attitude infects LSU"

COLUMN BY JAMES GILL:

If I want to put the arm on the taxpayer for $1.2 billion, and commandeer a vast chunk of downtown, I think I make nice.

I figure I need friends and everyone must be convinced I am on the level.

But LSU, which wants to abandon Charity and build a glittering new hospital nearby, is putting a lot of noses out of joint. It is in a big row with FEMA, and threatens to give its neighbor, the Tulane Medical Center, the bum's rush.

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Times-Picayune: "Appeal: FEMA shorted Charity - Storm damage claim cites rule violations"

BATON ROUGE -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency violated its own rules and relied on inexperienced personnel as it assessed the damage done to Charity Hospital by Hurricane Katrina, according to documents filed by state officials in the latest skirmish in the three-year battle over damage payments.

State officials also dispute earlier accusations by FEMA that they failed to adequately safeguard the building after the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane, causing additional damage that the federal government says is not its responsibility to pay.

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