Thursday, June 11, 2009

Four former governors intervene in higher education budget

Lead, governor, we are prepared to follow.”

In an unprecedented intervention, four former Louisiana governors met privately with Governor Bobby Jindal today, and then publicly stated their dissatisfaction with his planned higher education budget cuts.

Times-Picayune reporters Ed Anderson and Bill Barrow covered the issue for this story.

LFT President Steve Monaghan called the turn of events “extraordinary,” saying that the statement “confirms the Federation’s frustration with this fiscal session and affirms our conviction that the session should have begun with a broader, bolder vision for our state.

“The fact that we have continued this far without such a vision explains why the former governors felt compelled to step forward,” he said. The LFT president added that funding for K-12 education, which depends heavily on one-time federal stimulus funds, should evoke the same concerns.

The four governors, including David Treen, Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Mike Foster, issued a joint statement urging Jindal and the legislature to “fight for our young people and make it clear that education is Louisiana’s number one priority.”

In response, Jindal stubbornly clung to his no-tax mantra, vowing again to veto measures such as SB 335, which would temporarily suspend some anticipated tax deductions.

To read more of this story, please click here. To read the full statement by the four former governors, please click here.

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