State budget reductions announced

Allison B. Hudson

Early reports of a possible $160 million in cuts to the Department of Health and Hospitals and $109 from higher education budgets by the administration proved overstated. DHH and higher education will instead be targeted for $118 million and  $55.2 million in cuts, respectively._ Sorrento's River Parishes Community College is among state and community and technical colleges that initially faced a $14.18 million cutback, but were spared by the nearly 50 percent reduction in proposed higher education cutbacks._ Among cutbacks in the Joint Legislative Committee will consider are $2,732,951 at the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, $1,388,370 at the Office of the Attorney General, and $11,032,707 at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel._ The Department of Economic Development faces $1,005,750 in proposed cutbacks, and the Department of Education $11,146,641 including $1,599,085 to be saved by a hiring freeze._ The Department of Environmental Quality would be cutback $1,815,028, and the Department of Natural Resources $1,959,852. The Department of Public Safety faces cuts of $5,840,693, and the Department of Revenue $3,393,660._The Department of Social Services would be cutback $20,445,097._The Department of Transportation faces $6,806,761 in cutbacks, and the Department of Veterans Affairs $1,454,402._The Administration Division would be cutback $4,683,189, including a more than $3 million savings from a hiring freeze._ The Lt. Governor's office faces a $5,627,799 cutback, most of which will come from reductions in the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism._ Homeland Security faces a $591,000 cut, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission $1,017,500._The Office of Juvenile Justice faces $11,744,321 in cuts.