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Jindal quiet about higher ed cuts

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LAFAYETTE- Big cuts are on the way for higher education, but Governor Bobby Jindal isn't saying much about what those cuts will look like.

"It's too early to speculate," said Jindal, "certainly the agencies are looking for every opportunity to be more efficient. Everything's on the table."

Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony of a new high-tech business in Lafayette, the Governor answered just two questions on the budget situation. It's the first time the Governor spoke on the budget since it was announced on Monday that the estimated deficit for fiscal year 2016 was raised another $200 million to a total of $1.6 billion.

"We're going to do everything we can to mitigate the impact on higher education," said Jindal, "but the falling price of oil is going to have a significant impact on our revenues."

Jindal is considering higher education cuts of $300 million to $400 million.

"We are going to continue to balance the budget without raising taxes, just as i have done every year since I've been governor," said Jindal. However, he insists higher education is his priority. "We're going to continue to invest in higher education and ways to invest in our economy," added Jindal.

One specific item in higher education which Jindal is proposing to cut is the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy fund. WISE is a $40 million program to pay for college programs that produce high-demand jobs in Louisiana. At one point the governor described the fund as one of his top priorities.

The governor is expected to announce his proposed cuts at the end of next month.

 

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