Edwards administration: Threat of cuts 'not a scare tactic'

Source: MGN

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards' chief financial adviser says Louisiana already is seeing the spill-out effect of $700 million in budget cuts that could hit in July.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says safety-net hospital operators are prepping for clinic closures and contract exits.

He says college-bound students are considering out-of-state schools because their TOPS tuition awards are at risk. He says the health department is readying the regulations required to eliminate programs for the poor, elderly and disabled.

Dardenne spoke Tuesday to the House Appropriations Committee, which opened hearings to chart a spending course for the year that begins July 1.

Edwards wants a mid-May special session to consider taxes to fill the gap. Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says he'll work to pass a budget that makes the required cuts.

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