Faced with the reality that his leadership was about to be called into question by four former governors (has this ever happened before?) Gov. Bobby Jindal has apparently softened his position on cuts to higher ed. And who’d a thunk ole Buddy would carry so much weight?
Orchestrated by Roemer, the group of former state leaders initially planned a press conference without Jindal, a clear maneuver to publicly call his leadership into question. When Jindal realized what was up between Roemer, Mike Foster, Dave Treen and Kathleen Blanco (indeed a bi-partisan group that would have been even more were Fast Eddie able to make it) he called a meeting for yesterday morning — and, according to political writer John Maginnis, had Foster over to dinner this week at the Mansion. The press conference was then held at the Capitol after the private morning meeting between the five. (Maginnis also reported that Foster, who helped Jindal get his start in state government, has privately voiced frustration over not getting phone calls returned from his former protege.)
Today’s Advocate reports that Jindal is now promising to reduce the proposed cuts from 15 percent of state funds for colleges and universities to 10 percent, but noted that Jindal is not providing details about how that would be accomplished. Read the rest of the story here.
But there are still many unanswered questions over how the cuts will ultimately be calculated, as yesterday’s column by Jordan Blum so clearly points out.