State budget cuts target higher education, healthcare
Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order to more than two dozen state agencies today, demanding a reduction in their budgets to deal with a shortfall of nearly $107 million in the last fiscal year.
More than $36 million of that falls on higher education and more than $20 million falls on the Department of Health and Hospitals.
"We don't need whining, we do need leadership," said Jindal in a press conference this afternoon. "Now is the time to deliver more services better services for the dollars that we spend across state government,"
But some state leaders feel the deep cuts to education could bleed the state's universities dry, so instead the state should take money from the students.
"When you do that you're gonna reduce you're population and when you do that you also need to reduce the money that you give students that aren't gonna be there, so I'm asking you to continue to look at the discretionatry funds, inclusive of tops," said Representative Pat Smith of Baton Rouge.
Either way, the order has been made and now the state agencies facing cuts have two weeks to decide where they'll slash their budgets.