Jindal announces major vetoes - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Jindal announces major vetoes

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By Caroline Moses - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Governor Jindal announced Monday he plans to cut all proposed legislative solutions out of the budget bill, which means the House and Senate only have two weeks to find another bill to fund some of higher education's needs.

There is some political play and even some "smack talk" between the House and Senate at the state Capitol. "We have done all we can on the House side," said House speaker Jim Tucker, R-Terrytown. "I would like to say the senate has been the champion of higher education from day one," said Senate president Joel Chaisson, D-Destrehan.

Governor Jindal seems to be playing referee. He says he plans to veto all members' pet projects out of the budget he was given Sunday. He'll also cut the proposed solutions to higher education and health care funding gaps. Jindal says the solutions come in one package deal and to reject one would kill them all. Instead, he's leaving any new plans up to the legislature. "There's still time for another appropriations bill for the legislature to add money back to higher education," said Jindal.

Jindal suggests lawmakers use money from either the proposed tax amnesty program or the "rainy day" fund. He still objects to any tax increases, even the tax break delay approved by the Senate. The one thing both chambers and the governor do agree on is restoring about $70 million to higher education. They have two weeks to put aside any chamber rivalry and decide if and how they can make that happen.

"We're hopeful that the Senate will work with us in fixing this in committee or on the Senate side," said Tucker. "It's not about liberal, Democrat, or Republican. It's about saving higher education," said Chaisson.

If the House and Senate can't come up with a solution the governor likes, then health care and higher education may not see the money they say they need. Governor Jindal has 11 more days to officially file budget vetoes.

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