BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's  higher education leaders argued their value to the state's economy as they urged state lawmakers to keep college campuses from deep cuts next year.

Under the most dire scenario, colleges could face cuts nearing $600 million — a reduction of 82 percent of their state financing.

College system presidents said that would shutter some campuses and cripple those that could remain open.

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday reviewed Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget higher education recommendations for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Jindal's proposal would cut more than $220 million from campuses and relies on $372 million from uncertain tax break changes that need legislative approval.

Campuses want the authority to raise tuition and fees, but say that won't be enough to offset even the smaller gap.

 

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