Speaker Chuck Kleckley said, “We passed a balanced budget last session that protected higher education and health care; however, the federal government handed down $800 million in Medicaid reductions that forced LSU to make some very tough decisions. The committee meeting we had last week with LSU leaders was helpful and informative for everyone in attendance. As a result of this meeting, LSU has made a commitment to furnish "real time" updates to the members as discussions with community partners continue.”
It is vitally important that the voices of citizens in the affected communities be heard and who better to represent those citizens than area legislators from those same communities. LSU and DHH have committed to work closely with area legislators and include them in regional meetings as they implement their plan. Past experience has shown that an open dialogue is a much more effective way for all views to be considered, especially when the impacts on the communities must be evaluated.
“Tax payers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for a special session if there is no clear proposal. Calling a special session without any substantive plan illustrating alternative suggestions for where these cuts should be taken is not a responsible action.” President Alario said, "Our state constitution requires a balanced budget. Proposals offered so far would put our state budget in a deficit which would violate our constitutional duty."
The Speaker added that a special session would allow some lawmakers an opportunity to propose raising taxes. “Raising taxes and placing this expensive burden on our citizens is just fiscally irresponsible. A special session is unnecessary, and would be an unwise use of public funds.”
(Joint press release)
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