The Louisiana Legislature is almost half way through a Special Session called by Governor Edwards to address the current year's shortfall of $304 million. The Administration has proposed a plan to eliminate cuts to higher education, through the reduction of other agency funding and use $119.6 million of the Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund).
Many legislators are opposed to using the Rainy Day Fund. Without use of the Rainy Day fund, additional reductions and consolidation of AgCenter programs and services will be required. Over the last 10 years, the AgCenter's budget has been reduced by more than $20 million in state general fund dollars, with an additional increase of mandated costs exceeding $11 million.
These reductions continue to diminish the AgCenter's ability to invest in programs and personnel to provide continuity of essential services impacting research and extension initiatives including home owners, food and health, crops, livestock, 4-H and other natural resource programs.
The House of Representatives is expected to hear legislation on Friday to address the shortfall. We encourage you to contact your legislators, to educate them on the importance of these programs in your parish.
You can find your legislator's contact information at this link: https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx
Thank you for showing support for your LSU AgCenter,
William B. Richardson
Vice President for Agriculture
and Chalkley Family Endowed Chair
Dean of College of Agriculture
101 Efferson Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Follow Me @ http://twitter.com/WBRichardson