A 24-billion dollar budget that funds higher education at the same level as this year heads to the full House for a vote next week. The House Appropriations Committee has approved next fiscal year's spending plan and Chairman Jim Fannin says revenue generating bills approved by the House last week will prevent any cuts to public colleges and universities.
"We leave higher ed intact, we keep working on health care," Fannin said.
The House approved 615-million dollars in additional revenue last week, by raising the state's cigarette tax and suspending or reducing tax benefits many businesses currently enjoy. Fannin says they were hoping to generate 900-million dollars or so in new revenue, but there's still time to do that.
"We need about 950-million, we got 70% of it," Fannin said. "So I hope as it goes through the process, we can find the other 30%."
Governor Jindal has said he'll veto a budget that raises taxes on Louisiana residents, which the proposed budget that's heading to the House floor will do. Fannin was asked about a possible veto, if there are no tax cuts to offset the tax increases.
"You'll have to ask him, we're just in the business of trying to balance the budget," Fannin said.