Baton Rouge - Today, the Edwards administration released additional information regarding the budget proposal from Rep. Lance Harris. 

The plan, released on Thursday, would:

  • Defund every public-private partnership hospitals across the state (Lake Charles, Alexandria, Bogalusa, Monroe, Lafayette, Women’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, Shreveport and New Orleans);
  • Cut the Department of Corrections leading to the release of more than 4,500 inmates;
  • Make a historic cut to K-12 education affecting more than 700,000 students across the state; and
  • Cut funding for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. 

“In the year since I’ve taken office, this is the first alternative plan that has been proposed,” said Gov. Edwards. “This plan is proof that it is not only necessary for a special session but use of the Rainy Day Fund is essential. Combining the two is, by far, the most responsible approach until the legislature convenes in April to reform our tax code. I am looking forward to working with the legislature in the coming weeks, but it's clear that no plan will be without pain to Louisiana's families. Ultimately, it's up to all of us to lessen the burden the cuts will have."

Under the constitution, without a special session, spending cuts will be focused primarily on health care, higher education and the Department of Corrections, as evidenced by Rep. Harris' plan. Gov. Edwards is suggesting the use of the Rainy Day Fund to help eliminate the more than $300 million shortfall and considering a special session of the legislature to make cuts across the entire state budget, rather than the concentrated areas that would be cut without a special session.

Following the release of the plan, the Governor's Office has received a growing number of emails and letters in opposition from a wide variety of stakeholders, including (individual letters are linked):

The Public-Private Partnerships:

24 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Louisiana:

The Rural Hospital Coalition

Louisiana Association of Health Plans

Sheriff Newell Normand

Louisiana’s Education Leaders:

Coastal Restoration Advocates:

Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families

Advocates for Senior Citizens:

More than 100 individual families from across the state, with a son or daughter with a developmental disability