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Higher education officials react to second failed special session

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BATON ROUGE- Governor John Bel Edwards isn't the only person with a strong reaction to the second failed special session of the year.

The $29 billion state budget, beginning July 1, is short $540 million with proportional cuts to services including the TOPS college scholarship program. TOPS will only be funded at 70 percent for next year under the budget passed Monday night.

The Louisiana Board of Regents released a statement thanking legislators for focusing on education but conceded that the body had fallen short. Dr. Joseph Rallo said that higher education remains the economic engine for the state and that the board is confident the issue can be resolved with yet another special session.

The UL System also released a statement calling last night's legislative breakdown "disappointing."

More displeasure came as attempts to replace an expiring one-cent sales tax with a half-cent tax failed by six votes Monday night. Edwards said he will call a third, shorter special session this year before July 1 to try again.

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