$313M deficit from last year closed; Colleges take $12M cut

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards have reached a compromise to close a $313 million deficit.

The plan, approved by the joint House and Senate budget committee Thursday, lessens a proposed cut to public colleges from $18 million to $12 million.

The size of the higher education cut had been the chief point of disagreement. Lawmakers spent the last two days cobbling together a deal with Edwards that reduced that cut by one-third.

The budget-rebalancing plan also delays some Medicaid payments, uses savings from hiring and spending freezes and reshuffles available dollars to fill the gap.

The deficit is from the budget year that ended June 30. Another shortfall, projected to be around $300 million, is expected for the current budget year. Lawmakers won’t close that gap until likely February.


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