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A deeper dive into Gov. Edwards’ proposal for budget cuts

January 22, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards released a budget proposal for next year that accounts for the expiration of $1 billion in temporary sales taxes. The governor wants lawmakers to replace the taxes, but it’s unclear if they will agree. The spending plan unveiled Monday would force deep cuts, mainly to higher education and health programs.

SOME PROPOSED CUTS:

—80 percent cut to TOPS college tuition program

—50 percent cut to Go Grants, which provide need-based aid to college students

—Cuts to public college campuses

—Shuttering of Medicaid-financed centers aimed at helping “medically fragile” children

—Cuts to nursing home payments

—Reductions to payments to safety-net hospitals and clinics

—Cuts to mental health rehabilitation services and substance abuse services

—Closure of Long Term Personal Care Services Program that helps the elderly and people with developmental disabilities stay in their homes and avoid nursing homes

—Elimination of Children’s Choice Waiver program that provides support services to families of children with developmental disabilities who live at home

—Elimination of supplemental state payments to senior centers

—Elimination of a program that provides local economic development grants

—Reductions to tax collection programs

—5 percent across-the-board reduction to Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism

—Cuts to major repairs, replacement vehicles and supplies at certain state prisons

—Closure of five regional offices and removal of 114 field office positions that handle community-based supervision in the Office of Juvenile Justice

—Cuts to payments made to sheriffs for prisoner transitional work programs

—Elimination of state payments to district attorneys, constables and justices of the peace

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NOT PROPOSED FOR CUTS (Many of these agencies have their own sources of funding and don’t receive general tax dollars. Others are proposed for protection by the governor):

—Department of Children and Family Services

—Department of Veterans Affairs

—Department of Military Affairs

—Department of Transportation and Development

—Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

—Department of Environmental Quality

—Department of Insurance

—Department of Civil Service

—K-12 public school financing formula

—Louisiana Workforce Commission

—Inspector General’s office

—Public Defender Board

—Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

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NEW SPENDING:

—Increase to K-12 formula to account for increase in public school students

—Election expenses

—New election system hardware and software

—Transfer of Allen Correctional Facility from privately-run to state-run prison

—Ongoing technology upgrade in the Department of Children and Family Services

—Economic development project debts

—Increased costs and payments to the managed-care organizations that provide Medicaid services

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Source: Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration presentation.

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