BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — To come up with another $100 million to help pay for the TOPS college tuition program next year, House leaders decided to divert money that people pay for services away from the agencies providing them.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration and state senators are raising concerns about the legality of the idea, their ability to use the dollars if they're diverted and the wisdom of an across-the-board cut that falls heavily on transportation, public safety and health agencies.

The governor's chief financial adviser Jay Dardenne told the Senate Finance Committee that the maneuver was "substantively and procedurally flawed."

But if the Senate decides to undo the proposal, it could worsen the slashing to a popular college financing program for middle-class families in the budget year that begins July 1.

 

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