Budget

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The chairman of Senate Finance has no desire to approve the budget the House passed last Thursday. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur says he can’t support a spending plan that would kick 46-thousand elderly and disabled people from nursing homes.

 

LaFleur says, "I will never vote for this budget. I will not allow for a thousand people to be thrown out into the streets. I'd be embarrassed, and I'm not even running again for office."

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Governor John Bel Edwards says the proposed budget that was approved by the House is a non-starter, and if it reaches his desk, he’s not signing it. The budget maintains higher ed, and funds TOPS at 80 percent, but includes steep cuts to healthcare that could shutter public-private hospitals that care for the poor. Edwards says it’s a budget unworthy of the people of Louisiana

 

Edwards says, "The types of cuts that I just described to you do not happen in the state of Louisiana.The state is better than this. They deserve better than this."

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The House narrowly passed a budget that would fund TOPS at 80% and maintain higher ed funding, but would implement deep cuts in healthcare funding, potentially ending public-private partnership hospitals that care for the poor. House Appropriations Chairman Republican Cameron Henry says the state cannot afford to maintain its current healthcare spending.

 

Henry says, "The growth at which Medicaid is expanding is a rate we cannot attain. This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue; this is a math issue."

 

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Chancellors of two LSU Health Sciences Centers delivered impassioned testimonies in front of the Senate Finance Committee, calling on legislators not to pass the proposed budget approved by the House Appropriations Committee that they say would devastate healthcare. Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghalli says the proposed cuts are impossible to make.

 

The budget will be discussed on the House floor Thursday.

 

Kandace Moss

Higher education is important, especially to the thousands of students who belong to the University of Louisiana school system. Wednesday, students from the nine universities of the UL system gathered at the state capitol in Baton Rouge to rally for higher education and show school spirit.

From morning until mid-afternoon, students let the senators and state representatives know how important higher education is to them through speeches, talent showcases, and visiting representatives during their breaks in the current legislative session.

Edwards To Unveil Worst-Case Scenario Louisiana Budget

Jan 22, 2018
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Gov. John Bel Edwards is readying to unveil his worst-case scenario budget, which assumes lawmakers will refuse to replace $1 billion in expiring sales taxes and force widespread slashing across state government.

The Democrat warned the proposal would be devastating to Louisiana residents. He presents it to the Legislature's joint budget committee Monday.

Louisiana Closes Year With $100M Surplus

Sep 21, 2017

      Louisiana has a rare bit of good budget news: The governor's chief financial officer says the state ended the last budget year with a surplus topping $100 million. 

     Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne outlined the better-than-expected finish to the 2016-17 budget year in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. 

     He says Louisiana collected more money than projected from sales taxes and personal income taxes in the year that closed June 30. 

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The University of Louisiana Monroe is on a roll.

That was the message ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno shared with the crowd Thursday at Brown Auditorium.

“This is my sixth State of the University address, and it’s the most optimistic of all,” Bruno said.

Bruno’s address pointed to progress in academic programs, enrollment, hiring and budget.

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The leader of the Louisiana House says he doesn't expect lawmakers to pass tax hikes this session to fill a looming, mid-2018 budget gap. Instead, Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras believes a special legislative session is inevitable to address the shortfall.

A more than $1 billion budget hole is projected when temporary sales taxes passed by the Legislature expire on June 30, 2018. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards wants lawmakers to pass tax measures to close the gap. 

The state's income forecasting panel, called the Revenue Estimating Conference, is meeting Tuesday to trim back its income projections for this budget year. 

The news is expected to be bleak.

Economists have warned the state's tax collections for the budget year that began July 1 are coming in lower than expected. Estimates are that the state could face a budget gap of $300 million or more. 

 Any shortfalls because of this year's forecast changes will come on top of a $313 million deficit left from last year that has yet to be closed. 

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