S. Lincoln

Although we’re past the halfway point of the legislative session, House leaders say they are still about three weeks away from moving the budget bill, HB 1. So Senate Finance Committee members got an update on the budget proposal Monday.

Shreveport Senator Greg Tarver asked about rumors the House is trying to make big changes.

“We hear they’re talking about cutting other things to fully fund TOPS.”

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“We are cutting $792 million," said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Governor Edwards presented the revised plan for next fiscal year's budget to the House Appropriations committee Tuesday, highlighting proposed cuts for k-12 education, TOPS and hospitals. 

Sue Lincoln

The big deal of the week is the unveiling of the administration’s new version of the fiscal year 2017 budget proposal.

“Make no mistake: the budget presentation on Tuesday is going to be very sobering,” Governor John Bel Edwards says. 


“The real issue here is the fact that TOPS is in peril,” remarked Representative Julie Stokes (R-Kenner) in the House Education Committee. 

For next year's budget, which begins on July 1, the state only has $60 million of the $300 million needed to fully fund the popular scholarship program.

Six bills to try and make TOPS more compatible with the state’s fiscal reality were heard in the committee Wednesday. Changes proposed included raising GPA requirements, limiting award amounts, and requiring repayment if students drop out.

TOPS Uncertainty

Feb 15, 2016
courtesy LOSFA

“The people out there – all they hear is that TOPS is over,” West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth complained Monday.

Walsworth is one of many lawmakers who have been inundated with calls and emails from constituents, worried about the popular college scholarship program being curtailed.