Funding

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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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Concerns are being raised about a House bill that includes an application for funding a Boy Scouts project, but did not include an application for a girl scouts project. Girl Scouts Louisiana East spokesperson Mary-Patricia Wray says neither project is guaranteed to be funded, but allowing both applications to be considered would send a message of equality.

 

The Girl Scouts are seeking funding for a project that would prevent a lake in Tangipahoa from spilling into the Tangipahoa River. Wray says the lake is a valuable part of the community.

 

Senators have started advancing legislation that would use Louisiana's "rainy day" fund to help close the state's $304 million budget deficit.

 

The Senate Finance Committee moved the proposal Tuesday to the full Senate for debate without action, meaning committee members didn't vote in support or opposition of the idea.

 

Whether to tap into the fund — and how much to use — is the central disagreement of the budget-rebalancing debate.