BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards slammed the budget proposal advancing in the House, saying it "teeters between irresponsible and reckless."

The Democratic governor issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the spending plan that has been developed by House Republican leaders to close a $600 million shortfall in the financial year that begins July 1.

Edwards said the budget proposal backed by the House Appropriations Committee would damage safety net hospitals, graduate medical education and health care programs for the developmentally disabled.

The committee's plan protects the TOPS free college tuition program by proposing deeper reductions across state agencies, including the health department. The governor called the budget proposal a "political stunt that jeopardizes the future of our state."

Edwards' comments come a day before the full House considers the spending plan.


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