February 10, 2016
As you know, Gov. Edwards recently alerted higher education officials about the prospect of the state’s already decimated revenue estimates continuing to decline. The Revenue Estimating Conference met today, and their analysis indicates the current year’s shortfall is approximately $870 million … $120 million more than what was previously thought. Gov. Edwards will provide his solution to closing the current budget shortfall as well as the FY2017 budget based on today's revenue projections.
Needless to say, this is troubling. We are engaged in discussions with both the Governor and the Legislature to share the breadth and depth of the impact these cuts would produce. With only a quarter of the fiscal year remaining, these already significant cuts would be magnified in their effects. There is no way to implement such immediate and far-reaching reductions without dramatically impacting the services we provide to our students and our state.
Gov. Edwards’ plan to solve the current and next fiscal year’s shortfalls will be presented during the special session, which begins on Sunday, Feb. 14, and ends on March 9. All budgetary decisions must be made during this time, and each potential solution carries significant political challenges.
I know these are troubling times, but be assured that we are working diligently to share our university’s value with state leaders. While the special session will be challenging, we have many legislators who have promised to continue prioritizing higher education – but they need to be reminded of how many people rely on LSU.
We will share information as it becomes available. As always, monitor the LSU Budget Hub for the latest news, and don’t forget to share LSU’s success and impact with family and friends. If we all speak with one voice, our message will be heard.
F. King Alexander