TOPS recipients will be responsible for more than half of their spring tuition, and state leaders are arguing about who’s to blame. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry said the governor was more concerned about funding other priorities, like private-public hospitals.

But Governor John Bel Edwards said on his monthly call-in radio show that funding TOPS was and still is a top priority for him.

“We gave the legislature several options that they could choose from to avoid this problem and fully fund TOPS. They chose not to,” Edwards said.

Edwards says he is committed to working with legislators to make sure that TOPS recipients will not have to foot as much of the bill for their tuition next year.

“I anticipate that we’re going to be successful, and so by the next academic year in August of 2017, I hope and expect that program to be fully funded,” Edwards said.

Edwards says when he presents the proposed budget for next fiscal year to legislators in early 2017, the popular scholarship program will be fully funded.

“It’s going to depend upon the legislature working with me in good faith, but I think we can do it,” Edwards said.