House budget protects TOPS by cutting others
BATON ROUGE- Lawmakers in the Louisiana House are proposing to fully fund the TOPS free college tuition program by cutting across other state agencies.
The House Appropriations Committee on Monday reworked the budget proposal for the financial year that begins July 1.
The recommendations - approved in an 18-4 vote - are the first indication of House leaders' approach to closing a $600 million budget gap.
Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed funding for about one-third of the TOPS program. The Appropriations Committee came up with the remaining $183 million in part by taking dollars from other agencies, including money paid as fees for services.
Edwards' proposal protected five safety net hospitals and left four others without state financing. The committee reshuffled those dollars to spread them across all hospitals, with each taking a cut.