Lawmakers agree to create WISE incentive fund

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Gov. Bobby Jindal and higher education leaders have won legislative support for a new incentive fund that will direct money to high-demand degree and worker training programs. 

The House gave final passage Thursday to a bill by House Speaker Chuck Kleckley that sets up the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund, or WISE Fund. The 92-0 vote sent the measure to Jindal. 

The bill doesn’t guarantee funding, however. Lawmakers will decide each year whether to put money in the fund. Next year’s budget bills include $40 million for the effort. 

The Board of Regents will have final say over which campuses get money, based on recommendations from a newly-created council. Schools will have to put up a funding match.

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