La. colleges face deep cuts in House budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's public colleges say they will be forced to make steep cuts next year if state senators agree to the version of the $25 billion budget passed by the House.

The governor's budget office says higher education would take cuts topping $200 million in the new fiscal year that begins July 1, under the House-approved budget.

Senators get their first look Monday at the House budget.

GOP lawmakers in the House forced reductions of $268 million more than the Republican Jindal administration and Democrats want, saying they didn't want to use one-time dollars to pay for ongoing expenses.

House Republicans say the dollars can be cut from salaries, contracts and travel expenses without damaging critical services. The Jindal administration disagrees, saying the cuts would harm colleges and health care.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)