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Financial committee backs SUNO/UNO merger bill

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Posted: May 9, 2011 4:22 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: baton rouge, opponent, stall, bill, merger, consolidation, suno, uno, southern, university, wbrz, louisiana, legislature

BATON ROUGE - Opponents of a proposal to merge Southern University at New Orleans with the University of New Orleans have lost another bid to stall the consolidation effort.

The House Appropriations Committee backed the merger bill in a 17-4 vote Monday, over criticism that financial questions remain unanswered.

An analysis estimates the merger could cost the state more than $3 million over two years.

House Speaker Jim Tucker, the sponsor of the merger bill, says the fiscal analysis might be too high. And he says the public policy benefit to the merger trumps the price tag. Merger opponents say the estimates don't properly take into account the costs of layoffs, changes to computer systems and lawyers to work out the merger.

The merger bill heads next to the full House for debate.

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