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Budget deal front-loads TOPS payments, with cuts in spring

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BATON ROUGE- The final budget deal struck by lawmakers took a lopsided approach to the TOPS program, giving college students full tuition funding for the fall semester and only 42 percent financing for the spring.

Gov. John Bel Edwards opposed the move pushed by House Republicans and could veto it, while higher education leaders were trying to determine how it would work logistically.

House leaders pushed for the front-loading of TOPS, saying they were hopeful the state could bring in more money than estimated from tax bills passed since March. If no new money arrives, House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry said the delay for the cut would give students and parents more time to prepare.

Senate leaders suggested they didn't support the approach but approved it as part of a budget compromise.


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