Senate Finance Committee Stands Up To House and Governor
Senate Finance approved a budget that cuts nearly 25 percent in funding from most state agencies, but restores much of the funding to healthcare, specifically public-private partnership hospitals, that was lacking in a House backed spending plan.
But Metairie Senator Conrad Appel says that doesn’t mean these cuts will actually be enacted. Chairman Eric LaFluer agrees, and goes even further by calling this a "pretend budget".
LaFleur says the committee is well aware that the state cannot operate at these funding levels, and the budget is just a showcase of how impossible 648 million dollars of cuts would be. The cuts stretch across TOPs, hospitals, police, schools, prisons...pretty much everything. LaFleur continued to describe the budget they passed:
"This is the craziest, most cockamamie budget we could pass"
So why did they do it? The Senate Finance Committee effectively told the House that their budget was broken, and told Governor John Bel Edwards that his threats will not be allowed. Effectively, the Committee has become the "adult in the room" for these budget negotiations.