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Panelist Bio


John Neely Kennedy
Treasurer of the State of Louisiana

John Kennedy was elected without opposition to his fourth term as State Treasurer in September of 2011. As Treasurer, he oversees the state’s $10.6 billion investment portfolios. He also oversees local and state bond issues and returns millions of dollars in unclaimed property each year.

In 2009, Mr. Kennedy served as one of the ten members of the Louisiana Streamlining Commission established by the Legislature and tasked with helping the state prepare for the projected 3 billion dollar budget shortfall it would face by 2011. Among the Commission’s recommendations was to encourage more scrutiny of state contracts as well as a 10% annual reduction in their cost. HB142, sponsored this session by Rep. Jerome Richard, I-Thibodaux was prompted by this recommendation. Mr. Kennedy has been a vocal supporter of the bill which provides a 10% reduction of all state professional, personal, and consulting contracts with the savings deposited into the Higher Education Financing Fund.

Prior to his position as Treasurer, Mr. Kennedy served as Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Special Counsel to Governor Roemer and Secretary of Governor Roemer’s Cabinet. He was also an attorney and partner in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans law firm of Chaffe McCall.

Mr. Kennedy graduated magna cum laude in political science, philosophy and economics from Vanderbilt, was president of his senior class, and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his B.C.L. degree from Oxford University in England where he was a First Class Honors graduate.

Mr. Kennedy is an adjunct professor at LSU Law School and is a substitute teacher for East Baton Rouge Parish public schools. He resides in Madisonville, Louisiana, with his wife Becky and their son, Preston. They are founding members of the North Cross United Methodist Church.

Current Topic


07/16 - Regular and Extraordinary: Legislative Review

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?

After one regular session and two extraordinary ones, Louisiana’s Legislature has produced a balanced budget, but, at what cost? Who are the winners and losers in this year’s budget battle? And how can the state’s tax structure be reformed to avoid a future budget crisis? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Regular & Extraordinary: Legislative Review” Wednesday, July 13 at 7 pm on LPB HD. (Recording Tuesday, July 12)

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