House Committee Approves Budget Cuts To Education
Governor John Bel Edwards had been looking for ways to cut the state's budget. The House Appropriations committee heard what the Governor was saying. Yesterday that body approved a plan that would cut $117 million from the state's budget. The Governor was only looking for a cut of $87 million. As you might imagine there were those that were happy about the cuts and those that were not.
The biggest issue in the proposed cuts is how the change in funding would affect Louisiana's education system. This proposal included a $44 million dollar hack at Louisiana's public schools, specifically grades K-12.
Representative Pat Smith of Baton Rouge was very disappointed in the measures adopted by the committee. She spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network about the proposal and why she felt it was not in the best interest of the state.
This bill, when I went through it and compared it on here to what we were talking about cutting, you went really overboard. And when I said you went overboard, you went overboard. So, I can tell you, I will not support this bill.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Cameron Henry, who represents Jefferson Parish, said the committee that passed the measure was a bi-partisan group. So this wasn't about playing politics.
They were not all Republicans, they were not all Democrats, it was across the board. Some of you wanted more cuts than we put in at this time.
While it may have been suggested that this wasn't about playing politics, maybe in a round about way it is. Governor Edwards has suggested that he would oppose any cuts to Louisiana Public Schools. So we will have to wait for the other shoe to drop to see if this proposal isn't drastically changed by the time it hits the House floor.
The Louisiana Legislature is currently in its second week of a special session that was called to deal with the state's tremendous budget deficit. The legislature will be in session until March 9th.