House Speaker Balks At Jindal Budget Cut Proposals

BATON ROUGE (AP) — House Speaker Chuck Kleckley says he will fight proposals floated by Gov. Bobby Jindal to slash $300 million from Louisiana colleges next year.

         Kleckley, a Republican typically allied with the governor, said Friday he's heard talk of higher education cuts up to $370 million in the budget year that begins July 1. He says that would devastate campuses and workforce development efforts.

         The House speaker said he's weighing options to avoid the slashing, declining to elaborate.

         The Jindal administration is crafting next year's budget proposal while facing a shortfall pegged at $1.4 billion. The gap may grow larger because of dropping oil prices.

         Meghan Parrish, a spokeswoman for Jindal's Division of Administration, said the possible higher education cut being considered for next year ranges from $200 million to $300 million.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte


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