Edwards delays budget cuts amid worry about hit to colleges
BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards has agreed to delay budget cuts for another month, as lawmakers push for him to find a way to spare college campuses from the slashing.
As part of his proposal to close a more than $300 million deficit, the Democratic governor had planned an $18 million cut to higher education. That would be about two percent of colleges' general state financing.
Lawmakers urged the Edwards administration Friday to reconsider that cut, citing years of state financing reductions to colleges and a hit to the TOPS scholarship program this year.
Edwards could make the cuts without legislative authorization, but he agreed to delay the entire budget-rebalancing plan until December, to continue negotiations with lawmakers.
During that time, the budget hole only is expected to grow worse.