Democratic Caucus Against Budget Proposal Sent To La. House
The Democratic Caucus is pushing back against a budget that will be discussed Thursday on the House Floor that includes $648-million in cuts to higher education and healthcare. Caucus Chairman Robert Johnson says the budget discriminates against Democratic constituencies, while funding projects in Republican areas of the state.
“That vote shows that we’re creating winners and losers in Louisiana in the area of healthcare… and that’s just not the way that we should budget. That’s immoral,” Johnson said.
The caucus is also pushing back against part of the budget that fully funds TOPS, but cuts the higher education budget.
Johnson says Republicans aren’t properly considering, and explaining just how damaging these cuts would be to Louisianans.
“They need to get past their rhetoric and start looking at reality, which is where we are. We’re looking at these cuts as very real cuts. This is 648 million in cuts,” Johnson said.
Baton Rouge Representative Democrat Pat Smith says so far, the GOP have resisted any efforts to cut a bargain that would adequately fund state programs.
“You’ve got to have cuts and revenue… together. That has to come from a compromise. They’re not willing to talk about new revenue, then how can you come up with a number that you’re going to have for cuts?” Smith said.
The caucus is calling on lawmakers to vote against the budget, and instead replace expiring revenues in a special session.