Edwards Delays Budget Cuts Amid Worry About Hit To Colleges

Gov. John Bel Edwards

BATON ROUGE (AP) — 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 2 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.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte



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