Historic Budget Passed for Higher Education
Over $180 Million in State Funding Approved in Strategic Investments
NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The 2023 Legislative Session ended yesterday, marking a significant milestone in advancing higher education in the state of Louisiana. Under the steadfast leadership of Governor John Bel Edwards and the tireless efforts of Louisiana’s legislators, higher education has received an unprecedented level of funding designed to support the education and training of our students.
“We are grateful that once again the Governor and Legislature have made a historic investment in talent development in Louisiana. The over $180 million increase in higher education funding will support students, retain faculty, advance research, increase campus safety and improve the workforce readiness of our citizens,” said Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Commissioner of Higher Education. “Critical funding has also been provided to improve college affordability and enhance campus infrastructure as we focus on providing the best learning environment possible for our students to learn, grow and graduate. We know that budgets reflect priorities – and we are proud that this one speaks volumes about the Governor’s and Legislature’s shared commitment to the prosperity of our people.”
Key FY24 Budget Stats
HB1 increases State General Fund appropriations for higher education by $125.3M, a 10% increase over FY23. This appropriation level includes a $29.2M increase proposed by the Governor through the Executive Budget and legislative actions, which added $96.1M. This is one of the largest State General Fund enhancements ever received by higher education.
The budget supports the following priorities:
- Talent Development and Student Support – $97.3M
- Focus on Affordability – $15M to increase GO Grants (need-based aid) and fully fund TOPS and MJ Foster Scholars
- Targeted Investments – $13M to fund Cyber Assurance Plan (statewide), LOSFA outreach, and LUMCON’s Blue Works operations
Key FY24 Capital Outlay Stats
- $492.3M – Largest capital outlay allocation to higher education made up of Priority 1, Priority 2, and Cash funding
- FY24’s allocation is $179.5M or 58% more than received in FY23
- 118 Projects or 36% increase from FY23’s project count
- $51.3M – $1.3M increase in deferred maintenance funding from FY23 (largest allocation since 2008)
The budget also includes $58.7M one-time dollars in both Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024 to support workforce development, deferred maintenance, institution-specific priorities, campus safety, and textbook affordability. These adjustments bring higher education to a historic total increase of $184M during this legislative session.