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Group of House legislators propose budget reform package

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 1:30pm

In a legislative session dedicated to the state's budget, lines are already being drawn as the first legislative bills and amendments are drafted. A group of House budget reformists have wasted no time in putting out their plans for this session’s fiscal fight.

People we spoke with Tuesday said they are ready for budget cuts to health care and higher education to stop.

"I don't think they should be cutting any funds for higher education. And I don't think any cuts to the elderly should be done either," Cynthia Stephens, Baton Rouge resident, remarked.

"They need to always put money in the hospitals because that's why things go wrong," Jimmie Palmer, another Baton Rouge resident, added.

A group of Conservative House Republicans, lead by representative Brett Gyemann, believe their latest proposed budget packet will help halt more deep cuts to DHH and Higher Education Funding, as well as create more transparency in the budget process.

"It simply means that everything not constitutionally required to be funded now gets put into a different instrument that's now put on the table for us to review as to whether or not we believe that funding is as important as things such as health care and higher ed.,” said Gyemann.

Another portion of the package would call for a reorganization of how and when the budget is introduced, so legislators have more time to sift through the pages of proposed budget.

"Budget reform has to take place before we do anything because if you don't fix the fundamental problem that we have, everything else we do is still going to have those same problems,” Gyemann continued.

The session starts April 8th, and while Gyemann stated that there is bi-partisan support for the legislative package, so far no democrats have joined the Budget Reform Campaign officially.

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