As the budget bill moves through the Louisiana Legislature, what affect will it have on UL Lafayette?

If the legislation is not amended, school officials say the university will lose an additional $20.6 million in state appropriations for the next fiscal year. That will bring the school's total state funding reductions since the 2008/2009 fiscal year to $46.4 million, or 49%.

"I'm hopeful that level-headed legislators will come together and develop a sensible solution to this serious problem," says Dr. Joseph Savoie, president of the university.

Over 70% of the state's operating budget is protected through constitutional or statutory dedications, federal mandates, and unavoidable obligations. But higher education does not have those same protections.

Tuition hikes and one-time funding have helped to offset higher education cuts over the past four years. Since the 2008/2009 fiscal year, UL Lafayette's net total funding reduction would be $29 million, or 19%, given the current budget scenario.

Meanwhile, proposed tuition hikes now appear dead for the legislative session. The bill failed to pass the Louisiana House Education Committee. It would have resulted in full-time college students paying up to $300 in new fees each semester. Representative Chris Broadwater decided to shelve his bill after realizing there wasn't enough support for it.

More From News Talk 96.5 KPEL