Report: 'Governor agrees to House, Senate plans to restore college funds'

Governor Bobby Jindal said in a briefing today that he agrees with a legislative plan to mitigate budget cuts for higher education.

Gov. Bobby Jindal says he supports a House plan to restore $100 million of the $219 million cuts currently proposed in the budget for next fiscal year.

In a press conference this morning, the governor said he also agree with a Senate proposal to utilize $50 million in “Rainy Day Fund” money to assure that half of the funds are available as soon as the budget goes into effect July 1.

Senators said the $50 million in expected tax amnesty funds included in the House plan might not be available in time to avert layoffs and other budget-balancing actions, so $50 million in Rainy Day money should be utilized until the amnesty money comes into the state treasury.

“We would support that if the Senate decides to do it,” Jindal said. “I’ve said I’m open to ideas of using rainy day funds, as long as they meet our criterion.” Which include not utilizing a major portion of the fund because future budget years are expected to be worse.

Jindal said he also supports the other parts of the House plan, transferring $13.5 million from the Rapid Response Fund for economic development, $10 million from the Insure Louisiana Fund to help the agriculture schools at LSU and Southern and $30 million that’s expected from tuition hikes expected t be implemented next spring.

The governor said he agrees with the call for higher education and other parts of state government to “do more with less.”

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