By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - House Speaker Chuck Kleckley is urging higher education leaders to offer lawmakers new ideas for financing Louisiana's public college campuses after six years of budget cuts.
Kleckley, a Republican from Lake Charles, says lawmakers need innovative ideas and vision from officials with the four university systems to stop the bleeding on campuses and to stabilize funding for the schools.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and lawmakers have stripped nearly $700 million in state funding from higher education since 2008.
The House speaker didn't offer recommendations.
It's unclear what different suggestions the higher education community could make after several years of offering ideas and seeing them rejected by the Legislature.
Kleckley says there's not been unified support from university system chiefs about previous proposals, including measures to allow tuition hikes without legislative approval.
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