$100-million cut to LDH’s budget faces line-item veto threat


House and Senate leaders are facing criticism for cutting 100-million dollars from the Louisiana Department of Health’s budget. House Appropriations Chairman Jerome Zeringue says LDH’s budget is over 15-billion dollars and a majority of the Legislature believes they can handle this cut.

“We cut other agencies to that were increasing their budgets substantially from what they previously had, now some will question whether or not it’s needed, others were saying that some of the agencies were just taking advantage of the opportunity of the funding,” said Zeringue.

But Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, who manages the state’s finances for the governor, says the 100-million dollar cut will be impactful.

“The department testified during the session to take out any amount of money would be significant to the department,” said Dardenne.

Dardenne says they are looking into the possibility of the governor using his line-item veto power to take the 100-million dollar cut to LDH out of the budget bill.

Zeringue understands that’s a real possibility.

“I think it was an attempt by the body to exercise some fiscal restraints, but I think the administration is going to address that,” said Zeringue.

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