Louisiana Governor Edwards unveils budget with deep cuts as fiscal cliff looms

Gov. John Bel Edwards will present a budget proposal Monday that will include potentially devastating cuts to higher education and health care funding — the result of the looming $1 billion state budget shortfall.

In short: It won't be pretty, but Edwards is required by state law to present a budget that reflects the current revenue estimates.

"There's not a single cut that we will propose that we want to implement," Edwards, a Democrat, told The Advocate editorial board on Friday. "We don't want those cuts made."

Near elimination of the popular Taylor Opportunity Program for Students college scholarships, defunding safety net hospitals and layoffs are among some of the most drastic measures that Edwards will reveal.

"It's stark," he said.

Edwards said he hopes that it emphasizes the urgency of addressing the "fiscal cliff" the state faces when temporary tax measures, including a sales tax hike, expire July 1.

"Sometimes, people just forget how significant those things are," he said.



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