Sen. Blade Morrish wants to change TOPS award amounts
Posted on 1/11/2018 5:55:00 PM.

A state lawmaker is proposing to change TOPS scholarship amounts. Students who meet the minimum eligibility would receive a $4,000 payment for the year, but students who achieve a very high ACT and GPA get a full scholarship, plus a stipend. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says $4,000 may seem low, but it’s still the most lucrative college tuition program in the U.S.

Blade Morrish, TOPS, college scholarships

TOPS Task Force holds first meeting
Posted on 9/6/2017 11:47:00 AM.

Today the TOPS Task Force meets for the first time, as state leaders take a closer look at the scholarship program. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish authored the legislation that created the task force. He says almost no changes have been made to TOPS in the past 20 years, but a lot has changed in higher education in the last two decades.

Blade Morrish, TOPS, task force, higher education

Membership announced for TOPS task force
Posted on 8/3/2017 5:33:00 AM.

Membership has been announced for a task force that will examine the $350 million TOPS scholarship program for the first time since it was established 20 years ago. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish will chair the committee. He says the panel consists of an array of lawmakers representing both parties and all corners of the state.

Blade Morrish, TOPS, task force, higher education

Corporal punishment now banned in public schools for kids with disabilities
Posted on 6/20/2017 12:09:00 PM.

Public schools will no longer be permitted to physically punish children with developmental disabilities after a measure was signed into law by Governor Edwards.

Senate Education Chairman Blade Morrish says there weren’t any school districts that pushed back against this legislation.
legislative session, corporal punishment, Blade Morrish

Senate Education chairman wants a TOPS task force to study the program
Posted on 5/25/2017 4:44:00 AM.
The Senate Education Committee will discuss today whether a task force should be formed to study how to ensure the TOPS scholarship program long-term liability. Senate Education Chairman Blade Morrish says the taxpayer funded program has not been examined since it was created over 20 years ago.
legislative session, Blade Morrish, TOPS

Revised coastal restoration master plan to be discussed in regular session
Posted on 3/28/2017 5:52:00 AM.

Louisiana’s revised coastal restoration master plan will be taken up by lawmakers in the regular session, as part of the governor’s legislative package to protect and restore the state’s coast. The bill contains 120 projects to be completed over the next 50 years that will maintain over 800 square miles of coastal land. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish co-authored the legislation.

Blade Morrish, coastal restoration, regular session, oil spill

Bill ensuring all TOPS recipients get something receives final passage
Posted on 5/31/2016 10:44:00 AM.

The bill to ensure that all TOPS scholarship recipients get at least part of their award has received final legislative passage. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says the bill will only go into effect if the legislature cannot fully fund the program, which is a real possibility as TOPS is only funded at 48% under the current budget proposal. Morrish says who pays the remainder of the tuition would be at the discretion of the university.

Blade Morrish, TOPS, budget

TOPS contingency plan up for Senate vote
Posted on 4/17/2016 7:55:00 PM.
The state senate is expected to vote this week on a new contingency plan, if the state is unable to fully fund TOPS. Currently, if the scholarship program is underfunded, TOPS students with lower ACT scores and without financial need, lose their scholarships. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish wants to change the rules, so every TOPS students receives at least some scholarship money.
TOPS, Blade Morrish, funding, scholarship

Legislators file bills to change TOPS
Posted on 3/3/2016 12:25:00 PM.

Lawmakers have started filing bills for the regular session to change the TOPS scholarship program. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says he has filed about a dozen TOPS-related bills, one of which would raise the requirements to qualify for the scholarship.

TOS, Blade Morrish

Lawmakers expected to address the future of TOPS in regular sesson
Posted on 2/15/2016 2:42:00 AM.

Louisiana’s budget problems has raised concerns about the future of the state’s taxpayer funded college scholarship known as TOPS. The highly popular program has run into money issues this year as the state may not have enough money to fully pay a recipients scholarship. Senate Education Chairman Blade Morrish says the legislature will likely look at options to control TOPS spending during the regular legislative session.

Blade Morrish, TOPS, higher education, budget cuts

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