In the battle for fiscal solvency - yes, it is becoming a battle - the House Appropriations Committee has fired a salvo at Governor John Bel Edwards and his proposed budget. Yesterday, that committee announced that it had found a way to fully fund the TOPS program in Louisiana.

That means that this committee found an extra $138 million floating around in Governor Edwards' budget. Or did they find the money? Governor Edwards seems to believe that this is a case of "robbing Peter to pay Paul". Since the Appropriations Committee actually just took money away from other state agencies to make up the difference the Governor's budget plan removed.

And if it's 6% in addition to what we already did, I don't know how I can support that but I want to see the dollar amounts.

Governor Edwards made those comments to the Baton Rouge Press Club in their meeting yesterday. Edwards suggested that maybe the committee did not really do their homework before passing the proposal on to the full House.

That simply means you didn't want to invest the time, the effort, the energy, to find out where the cuts could be made, why they shouldn't be made and that sort of thing.

Governor Edwards' remarks were chronicled in a report published by the Louisiana Radio Network. 

It appears as though TOPS is going to become this year's political Achilles heel. The public will most likely perceive that those who voted to keep TOPS fully funded are for higher education. Those who want TOPS reduced are against it. Public perception is often based on emotion and not solid fact. Whichever way you believe, I hope you will take the time to understand the ramifications of backing a certain position.