budget cuts

Latest News
1:14 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Groups unsure about state drug plan changes

Louisiana's health agency must save $56 million on drugs for Medicaid patients to help balance the state budget, but doesn't yet have a final plan for doing that.

A top aide to health Secretary Bruce Greenstein say the changes will take effect Oct. 1, and emergency rules will be published in September.

Legislators, pharmacy interests and others tell The Advocate they are concerned about the lack of transparency and what they call a rush to make changes that need caution to avoid damaging health care. Consumer groups worry about restricted drug access.

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Higher Education
11:52 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Summer enrollment drops at NE La. colleges

Colleges and universities across northeastern Louisiana have seen decreases in summer enrollment this year. Officials believe it's likely because of the economy and the loss of certain federal grant funding offered during the summer.

Summer Pell Grants, which provided need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students, were eliminated from last year's federal budget because of financial constraints.

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LSU Hospitals
6:08 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Jindal says LSU hospitals will protect services despite cuts

Gov. Bobby Jindal says he's confident LSU's network of public hospitals and clinics will protect health care services, despite cuts that strip a quarter of the system's funding.

Lawmakers have said they don't understand how the university-run health care system can shrink its budget by $329 million this year without shutting facilities that take care of the poor and uninsured.

But Jindal on Tuesday told reporters that "LSU is well on their way to presenting a plan that's going to protect critical services."

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LSU Athletic Department
5:30 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

LSU Athletics donates $4M to university

The LSU Athletic Department is making a $4 million contribution to the university to help with budget challenges in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The transfer is the single largest contribution from Athletics to Academics in school history. Director of Athletics Joe Alleva says being able to make such a contribution is a "real credit to LSU's fans and alumni who support the Tigers."

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Healthcare Cuts
8:58 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Lawmakers criticize few details in state health cuts

Louisiana lawmakers are bristling about getting few details and no ability to decide the $523 million in budget cuts Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has made to health care programs.

Several complained the governor's staff wasn't explaining the gravity of the slashing and the implications on the LSU network of public hospitals and clinics that care for the poor and uninsured.

The cuts are tied to a drop in Louisiana's federal Medicaid funding that was passed in congressional legislation after the state's 2012-13 budget was already crafted.

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Southeast Louisiana Hospital
12:22 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Mandeville psychiatric hospital prepares to close

Almost 60 years since it opened, the Southeast Louisiana Hospital — a psychiatric facility that gained national notoriety in 1959 when then-Gov. Earl Long was briefly committed there — is preparing to close down its daily operations.

The Times-Picayune reports that the hospital's closing is part of an $859 million cut to the state's federal Medicaid program.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals hopes to send all 176 beds occupied at the hospital to other public and private hospitals in the state.

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Louisiana Tax Breaks
12:39 pm
Sun July 22, 2012

A look at what tax breaks cost Louisiana

Louisiana gives out about $4.4 billion in tax breaks to businesses and individuals each year. A look at the major categories of taxes collected and tax exemptions in the just-ended 2011-12 budget year, according to estimates from the state revenue department:

Corporate Income Taxes:

  • Potential collections: $1.7 billion.
  • Actual collections: $198 million.
  • Estimated exemptions: $1.5 billion.

Percentage of tax loss: 88 percent.

Sales Taxes:

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Budget Cuts
12:09 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Nicholls State, Southeastern lay off workers

Nicholls State University and the University of Southeastern Louisiana are laying off employees.

Louisiana State University, though, says it will cut its budget without firing employees.

The state's public colleges and universities are absorbing a fifth round of budget cuts since 2008. In the new budget, higher education was cut by $66 million, bringing total cuts since 2008 to $420 million.

Southeastern, in Hammond, says it will lay off 36 faculty and staff members and eliminate 80 vacant positions. The university says it's cutting $13 million overall.

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Latest News
7:15 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

LSU chief: No decisions on where to make cuts

LSU System President William Jenkins says decisions haven't been made about how to strip $329 million from the university's hospital system. He offered no assurances to lawmakers that hospitals and clinics wouldn't be faced with closure.

A leader of Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration warned Thursday that hospital cuts could be worse if state income estimates don't improve to fill the remaining gap in the Medicaid budget.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein told House members any additional cuts would "fall primarily on the LSU hospitals."

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Budget Cuts
12:43 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Jindal hoping for more revenue to fill budget gap

Even with $523 million in announced health care cuts, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has slashed only two-thirds of the spending needed to close the entire gap in Louisiana's Medicaid budget.

The administration is banking on better-than-expected revenue projections to close the remaining budget hole.

If that doesn't pan out in the next few months, more reductions are on the horizon. And even if the funding does show up, there could be legal hurdles to accessing the cash to fill the Medicaid budget.

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