Louisiana House approves $25 billion state budget
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the Louisiana House have backed a $25 billion budget for next year, supporting Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposals to increase spending on health care and colleges.
No changes were made to financing for privatization deals involving the LSU hospitals, though federal officials have rejected the funding plans. The House killed efforts to stop privatization plans for the university-run hospital in Pineville.
The Jindal administration intends to appeal the federal ruling and is negotiating alternative hospital financing plans with federal officials.
Jindal's health secretary, Kathy Kliebert, said the rejection won't cause any budget disruption for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The House voted 65-34 Thursday for the budget after seven hours of debate. The bill moves to the Senate.