Budget deal passes in session's final hours
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers have completed their work for their regular session, agreeing to a $25 billion budget compromise and then heading home an hour early.
The budget deal will finance state government operations in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
It received final approval with a 38-1 Senate vote Thursday and a 104-0 House vote and is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The two-month session was marked with new legislative independence in crafting a budget deal and with Jindal's central legislative goal shelved on opening day.
The Republican governor proposed a sweeping tax rewrite that would have eliminated Louisiana's income taxes in exchange for higher state sales taxes charged across more items. But he scrapped the plan in a speech to lawmakers on opening day, rather than risk an embarrassing defeat.