Louisiana colleges spared some cuts for now
BATON ROUGE- Louisiana colleges took a lighter hit to their budgets Thursday than state lawmakers had feared a month earlier. Members of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget recognized a $312 million mid-year budget cut at the capitol and higher education took a $12 million hit.
In November, Governor Edward's administration announced it would cut state colleges $18 million. It was a move LSU leaders called "manageable" but lawmakers postponed the cut to December hoping for a better solution.
Thursday Edwards' chief financial advisor Jay Dardenne said the administration and the treasurer's office were able to reduce the cut by using revenue from the latest tax amnesty program.
Dardenne made clear that Thursday's cuts won't be the last. Tuesday, state economists reported tax revenue is still coming in too low for the year, somewhere between $200 million and $400 million.
"There's a better chance of Leonard Fournette returning to graduate at LSU than the state avoiding more cuts," Dardenne told lawmakers.
The additional cuts could be announced in late January or early February. Dardenne warns the likely targets will be colleges, health care, prisons and medical services for the disabled.
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