Budget

gov.louisiana.gov

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the legislature, my fellow Louisianans:

Good afternoon.

Today, I’m going to be brief.  The time for politics and partisanship is over.  The time for solutions is now.  No more excuses.  The citizens of this state have waited long enough.  They deserve results – now. 

I’m not going to bog you down with the numbers and figures that have been in front of us for more than two years. We don’t need to rehash the tale of how we got here – we all know that by now.

Emerald McIntyre / ULM Photo Services

Higher Education in Louisiana is about to get pushed off the fiscal cliff. The state will enact severe budget cuts to the T.O.P.S. program and university budgets unless there is a deal to raise more revenue or realocate funds to higher education. 

T.O.P.S. eligible students would only receive 70% funding for tuition. Students at the University of Louisiana Monroe could see a $1,736 out of pocket cost increase  per year to make up for the 30% cut in T.O.P.S.

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There’s only two months left in the fiscal year, and doubts are growing as to whether a spending plan for next budget year can be approved in the current regular session. A 648-million dollar budget gap is forcing lawmakers to consider deep cuts in state spending. LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says we’re approaching uncharted waters.

 

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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.

 

Students Rally at UL System Day in Baton Rouge

Apr 13, 2018
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
Road Travel America / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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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