Saturday, June 17, 2017

Louisiana senators hear grim predictions of budget impact - MELINDA DESLATTE, Associated Press

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has presented to senators a grim picture of the fallout from the House-proposed version of next year's budget, with the governor threatening a veto if anything resembling the spending plan reaches his desk. College leaders, facing a $16 million cut proposed both by Edwards and the House, said they are struggling to keep up with peer institutions in other states after years of state funding reductions. "This has been a decade of cuts. This is the 17th one on its way. And now you're seeing the consequences," said LSU System President F. King Alexander, describing lost faculty and students choosing to leave the state for other schools. "We're outpunching our weight, but the question is how long can we keep doing this, losing our best people?" Alexander told senators. House Republicans took $82 million Edwards proposed for health care spending and shuffled it to the TOPS free college tuition program, to give full tuition funding to eligible students, rather than a pro-rated, lesser amount.

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