TOPS

TOPS Task Force Named

Aug 4, 2017
Mark Carroll

What to do about TOPS? The popular college scholarship program has grown from $50-million in 1999, to a cost of nearly $300-million this year, and Louisiana is facing a $1.2-billion drop in revenues next year.

“Doing nothing is not an option moving forward,” says Representative Franklin Foil of Baton Rouge.


Sue Lincoln

“I was just looking at the definition of ‘austere’: ‘a situation in which there is not much money and it is spent only on things that are necessary’,” Senate Finance chairman Eric LaFleur remarked, as he unveiled his committee’s proposed changes to the House budget bill.

courtesty: LOSFA

A bill to increase the grade-point average to qualify for a four-year TOPS award is headed to the Senate – but not without some controversy along the way.


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“We’re trying to get away from having consistent midyear cuts, which, as of right now, the only way I can think of doing it is not appropriating all of the money,” House Appropriations chair Cameron Henry said, as he called for his committee to approve what he referred to as a “standstill” budget, spending just 97.5% of the revenue forecast for the next fiscal year.


Wallis Watkins

University of Louisiana System Day at the Capitol Wednesday treated lawmakers and visitors alike to a performance by the Grambling State University band. But inside the building, officials and students from the nine-school system had serious concerns for the House Appropriations Committee. 


Sue Lincoln

Earlier this week, at the Board of Regents Summit, House Speaker Taylor Barras and Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger talked funding for higher education in the upcoming session, starting with full funding for TOPS.


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The Revenue Estimating Conference meets Friday to put an official number on the mid-year budget shortfall and start the wheels moving on cuts – which are expected to exceed $300-million. Where will the axe fall?

“Because Higher Ed and parts of health care are not protected, I believe that once again, sadly, we’re going to take a large part of the burden," says Louisiana Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo.

Governor Talks TOPS

Nov 17, 2016
LOSFA

Students attending school on TOPS scholarships are receiving letters that they’ll owe 60% of their tuition in the Spring semester. Speaking on his monthly radio show, Governor John Bel Edwards says it didn’t have to be this way. 


Louisiana Senate Broadcast

With just one week left in the regular session, the Senate Finance committee had to work on the budget over the Memorial holiday.  

The committee made amendments to the House-approved state budget, including a reduction to TOPS funding, which Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur (D-Ville Platte) said would be funded at forty-eight percent of its cost.


Media Commons

The Senate Finance Committee votes today on how they want to change the state budget. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne has advised them to “Start over, and simply undo the House amendments in their entirety.”

Dardenne is urging the upper chamber’s money committee to revert to Governor John Bel Edwards’ original plan, and he summed up how the House changed  the governor’s recommendations.

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