Lawmakers approve budget, look to raise taxes in special session
BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers passed a budget Sunday evening that slashes funding for both TOPS scholarships and hospitals.
The approved cuts means the TOPS scholarship would be cut in half, costing an LSU student about $1,800 to go to school next year. The healthcare cuts could hurt health for the poor across the state.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says this budget is not what he, or "the vast majority of the legislature," wanted to pass.
"Our state continues to face a serious budget deficit that threatens our ability to adequately fund state services that we all consider to be priorities," Edwards said.
But the cuts may never take effect.
Many lawmakers intend to avoid the approved cuts by raising revenue with the upcoming special session starting Monday night. Lawmakers are considering raising taxes and reducing corporate giveaways.
The sesion will run for two and a half weeks.
"We have critical work ahead of us over the next two weeks, and I am confident we will make the tough choices necessary to put Louisiana on a path to long-term prosperity,” Edwards said.