House leaders unveil budget cut proposals

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BATON ROUGE — After weeks of hearings and behind-the-scenes negotiations, lawmakers in the Louisiana House are releasing their proposal to close a $600 million gap in next year’s budget.

Gov. John Bel Edwards offered his recommendations in April, proposing deep cuts to the TOPS free college tuition program, safety net hospitals for the poor, colleges and public schools in the financial year that begins July 1.

The House Appropriations Committee unveils its reworked version Monday.

Republican House leaders want to fully cover TOPS and more evenly spread cuts across the safety net hospitals.

The Democratic governor proposed to fund only about one-third of the money needed to fully pay for all TOPS-eligible students. He also recommended financing five of the safety net hospitals and their clinics, leaving four others with no state funding.

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