Gary Carter

May 2, 2018

What to do when TOPS is underfunded?

The House version of next year’s budget funds the TOPS scholarship program at only 80 percent of current year funding.

Number of the Day

167 - Average annual percentage interest rate (APR) for a new predatory payday loan product that would be authorized by legislation passed by the Louisiana Senate on Tuesday evening. Current law caps interest rates at 36 percent APR. (Source: Center for Responsible Lending)
September 29, 2017

40 years of SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides food assistance to more than 410,000 Louisiana households, turns 40 years old today.

Number of the Day

70,000- Number of people convicted of a felony in Louisiana whose right to vote would be restored if a 1976 constitutional law is found unconstitutional. (Source: The Associated Press via NOLA.com)
August 15, 2017

Cassidy wants cuts to care

Sen. Bill Cassidy remains committed to ending the Medicaid expansion that is covering more than 430,000 low-income Louisianans, eliminating individual market subsidies for middle-income people and capping and cutting the traditional Medicaid program.

Number of the Day

1,639 - Full-time staff positions eliminated at the Department of Children and Family Services from the 2008 fiscal year to the 2017 fiscal year. A recent audit showed the cuts led to high caseloads and improper oversight of the foster care program. (Source: House Fiscal Division via LBP)
August 14, 2017

The case for free community college

Louisiana has one of the most generous college scholarship programs in the country - TOPS - which covers in-state tuition for anyone who finishes high school with a 2.5 grade point average and a 20 or above on their ACT. But as The Advocate’s Mark Ballard reports, it’s a different story for students in the state’s community and technical colleges.

Number of the Day

$1.5 billion - State budget shortfall estimate for 2018-19 fiscal year (Source: Office of Planning and Budget via AP)