State Treasurer talks money with Lions

By Bonnie Culverhouse

If Louisiana is ever going to get its money problems under control, it’s going to take communication among local government, legislators and the governor, State Treasurer John Schroder told Minden Lions Thursday.

“It’s going to take all levels, from the bottom up,” said Schroder, who has a background as a legislator, in law enforcement and the military. “Louisiana’s problem is, we don’t want to change anything, and Louisiana is not in good financial shape.”

But it will take change – especially in laws – and in the state’s thought process to overcome an $800 million deficit.

“There are millions of dollars in federal grants from Katrina just sitting there,” Schroder said. His department manages around $64 billion in cash flow.

“We need to Stash some Cash,” he told Lions. “And one thing we can do to avoid deficit is to stop allocating one-time money to recurring expenditures.”

However, there are positive things going on in Louisiana, he pointed out.

“I run the unclaimed property program,” Schroder said. “That program has increased 632 percent under this administration. We went from doing about $25 million to 72 million. We used technology; we hired more people. We’ve created a trust fund account that whatever money is not returned to the people, it’s put in a trust fund.”

Schroder is in his fifth year as state treasurer. He won in a special election and then was re-elected. He said he originally became involved in politics because he felt like people were losing faith in it. Rather than stand in the back of the room and “goof off,” he said he prefers to “charge the hill.”

From left, Minden Mayor Lion Tommy Davis, Treasurer John Schroder, Ellie Schroder, former State Representative Jean Doerge, Martha Reynolds and former State Representative Lion Gene Reynolds.

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