University Hospital and Clinics in Lafayette has notified 770 employees that they could be laid off, and the facility shut down under proposed spending plans that slashes state funding for public-private partnership hospitals. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says they aren’t the only jobs at risk.
Dardenne says the public-private system was created after Charity Hospitals were dismantled under the Jindal Administration, and focus on covering the underinsured.
Dardenne says legislators need to find a budget solution sooner rather than later, as the indecision is stressing out the industry.
House GOP Chairman Lance Harris is defending the House budget despite its cuts, saying it’s just the first step in a long process that he expects will involve a special session starting on May 18th to fill the 648 million dollar funding gap. The GOP has resisted replacing the expiring revue that will hit July 1st, and as a result he says the legislature will likely not increase income taxes to replace expiring sales taxes.
Harris says he would not support the income tax increase, because he fears it would offset what he says are the benefits of the federal tax overhaul.
Harris says he sees two options for funding those healthcare priorities: keeping a piece of the expiring one cent sales tax, and eliminating sales tax deductions for certain industries in an anticipated special session.