The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday agreed to send two budget bills to the full chamber for consideration — movement that came a day after lawmakers had attempted to hash out an agreement with Edwards, who had asked the Legislature to take $119.6 million from the state's reserves to help plug the $304 million mid-year deficit.Can't fault the Governor for that this time. It looks like he drove as hard as bargain as he could. It's hard to drag these kicking and screaming babies into anything. They just can't help breaking as much stuff as the can along the way in the course of their tantrum.
One alternative proposal, which is backed by House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, would instead only take $74.6 million from the state's savings account.
Henry's plan ultimately would cut $4.6 million from the Department of Corrections; $7.5 million from K-12 education; and $6.2 million from funding for colleges and universities. Edwards' plan spared those areas of the budget.Real challenge now will be seeing to it that the Republicans own the political consequences of their unecessary cuts. That's never easy to do.