House increases health care cuts in first re-write of state budget proposal BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – The House’s budget committee Thursday, May 21 approved a modest rewrite of Governor John Bel Edwards’ proposal for state spending.
The appropriations committee’s plan would divert $12 million more away from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) to pay for improvements to state agricultural centers and help fund pay raises for judges, though justices of the state’s Supreme Court testified they would use the extra money to cover ordinary operating expenses that remain unfunded because of the coronavirus.
“In the big scheme of things, with the budget the size that it is, we’re telling you we only object to $12 million or so," Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told the appropriations committee. “That’s a pretty good record that we’ve come together on.”
Louisiana faces a $900 million shortfall because of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the state’s economy, but federal aid will ultimately mitigate all but $80 million in cuts.
The TOPS scholarship, K-12 schools, and social services are paid for under the latest iteration of the plan. Colleges would still take a roughly $21 million reduction, though it’s unclear how smaller class sizes and reduced […]