After watching the video, click here
Friday, 01 July 2016 14:18
Governor Edwards signs appropriations, vetoes TOPS conditional funding
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards took significant steps on the first day of the fiscal year, 2016-17. Those steps include signing the supplemental appropriations bill and vetoing a conditional provision related to the popular TOPS program.

Here is the media statement from the Governor's Office

Today, Governor John Bel Edwards signed the supplemental appropriations bill, House Bill 69 from the 2016 Second Extraordinary Legislative Session, and vetoed two items within the bill. The first veto concerns an appropriation that would have taken away $250,000 in necessary funding for Early Steps, a vital program for children 0-3 years of age with developmental disabilities. The second veto eliminates a provision that directed a “conditional appropriation” of any potential new revenue that comes in next year be split evenly between TOPS, the Board of Regents, and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). 

“From the beginning of my administration, I have made it clear that I will budget openly and honestly with the people of Louisiana,” said Gov. Edwards. “Providing for a potential appropriation of money on the mere hope that new revenues will be recognized is a continuation of the tricks and gimmicks of the previous administration. I presented a plan that fully funded TOPS, LDH, and higher education. The Legislature chose not to follow this plan or present a plan of its own, and is instead relying on this provision to give false hope to the public, while limiting our ability to pay down the state’s debt or adequately respond should disaster strike our state. This is another example of dishonest budgeting, and the days of fiscal mismanagement of that magnitude are behind us.” 

Click here for a copy of the signed HB 69. 


Click here for Gov. Edwards’ accompanying veto message.

In this message, Gov. Edwards explains that, even though he has serious concerns about the TOPS “front-loading” language, he believes that vetoing this language would likely lead to litigation that would cause significant uncertainty and chaos mere weeks before the fall semester begins. Therefore, Gov. Edwards did not veto this language.

While this “front-loading” language requires all of the HB 69 TOPS funding ($68 million) to be put towards the fall semester, the remaining TOPS funding the Legislature raised in HB 1 of the regular session amounts to only $141.5 million. When that amount of remaining TOPS funding is split between the two semesters, that leaves $138.6 million total for TOPS in the fall semester and $70.7 million for TOPS in the spring semester. Typically, TOPS is funded at more than $150 million each fall semester, with TOPS costing $300 million for the full year.

“While the language in HB 69 states that ‘the monies appropriated herein shall be used to fully fund the TOPS award for the fall semester,’ this is a mathematical impossibility, and it is disingenuous  for anyone in the legislature to tout this as having fully-funded this program,” said Gov. Edwards. “Students should be prepared for cuts to TOPS awards in the fall semester and an even larger cut in the spring semester. While I had a plan that would have fully-funded TOPS for the entire academic year, the legislature did not raise enough revenue or identify enough spending cuts to fully fund the program, despite having had the opportunity to do so in two special sessions.”

The governor also signed an executive order today aimed at operating state government more efficiently and guarding against Louisiana suffering a budget deficit in fiscal year 2016-17. The executive order implements a freeze on the ability of unclassified employees within the executive branch of state government to receive salary increases. A copy of that executive order can be found here.


From <>

Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Deja vu for Louisiana high-speed a Internet Broadband project, once again
  • Republicans Gatti, Crews vie for Louisiana House to replace now-Congressman Mike Johnson
  • Retiring Louisiana State Police Chief Edmonson retirement $ back in news
  • Trump, Ryan going to BAT for tax reform, economic growth

jindal broadbandIt’s déjà vu all over again for a broadband access project in Louisiana that saw the same mistakes repeated, leading to its demise both times.

Read More

lou gehrig burnettby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

   Raymond Crews and Robbie Gatti are headed to a runoff in state House District 8 on April 29 to fill  the seat left vacant when Mike Johnson was elected  to Congress.  Both are Republicans.
    Crews came in first with 41% of the vote, followed by Gatti with 37%..  Two other candidates in the race were Duke Lowrie, who finished with 16%, and Patrick Harrington, who had 6%.

Read More

edmonson2by Tom Aswell, Publisher of Louisiana Voice

It must be nice when you can get the rules written just for you.

There must come a time when even the most disinterested, blasé, apolitical person living has to look up from whatever else occupies his interest and say, “Wait a damned minute. This just ain’t right and we’re not gonna do it.”

Read More

trump greatIt has been over three decades since our country’s last major tax reform was passed during the Reagan administration. Since that time, America has increased tax rates on businesses and individuals and become less competitive. 

Read More

BB Menu



Trump Talk: Ryancare, Russia, Investigations, Travel ban--with Jeff Crouere

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1