Louisiana Legislature left the State Capitol on June 25 with an agreement to preserve
0.45% of a 1-cent sales tax set to expire. Under the FY2019 budget The Shaw
Center, operated through a cooperative endeavor agreement among the state, the
Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Louisiana State University, was set to lose
nearly $800,000 in operating funds.
action was precarious for Louisiana’s colleges and universities, as the House
initially rejected tax bills that otherwise forced cuts on the spending plan
sent to Governor John Bel Edwards; State Senate action ultimately approved
enough renewed taxes to fund state government without dramatic cuts. A
bipartisan attempt to avoid cuts to the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students
(TOPS) prevailed, preserving the program and sparing public
universities and colleges from steep cuts. The genesis of the budget battle—the
need for long-term tax and budget reform—is temporarily solved, at least until the
extension of a partial tax hike ends seven years from now, in 2025.