LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander, state Rep. Pat Smith and chief economist for the state Legislature Greg Albrecht will participate in a forum on the state budget March 18.

The event is being organized by Geaux Vote LSU, a student group that encourages involvement in the political process.

“We are hosting this event to bring students into the budget cuts conversation, because we hold a stake in this,” co-organizers Valencia Richardson said in a news release. “This forum will bring politicians and community leaders together, so that students can show that they care and get some real answers on what massive budget cuts could mean for their future. Students have questions. We do care and our opinions matter. This is a way to show that.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget proposal released last week would slash funding for higher education by about $211 million. That plan relies heavily on the state scaling back refundable tax credits, meaning if state lawmakers don’t pass that measure, then the actual cut could balloon to over half a billion dollars across all colleges and universities — more than 70 percent of the state’s spending on higher education in the coming year.

Alexander has been one of the most outspoken higher ed leaders against the cuts. The state Legislature will spend the next several months hashing out a final spending plan for the budget that begins July 1.

The forum is slated for 5-7 p.m. March 18 in the Holliday Forum of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.