La. Senate approves budget; TOPS fully funded
BATON ROUGE -- Louisiana senators have given final passage to a $28 billion-plus operating budget, a week after a negotiating stalemate forced lawmakers into a special session.
With a 26-9 vote Friday, the Senate sent the budget bill to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who supports it.
Senate Finance Chairman Eric LaFleur says the budget is austere, but reasonable.
The spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 will keep most agencies free of cuts and fully fund the TOPS college tuition program.
More than 38,000 state government workers will get 2 percent pay raises.
Dollars will be allocated for a new juvenile prison facility.
It's the first time colleges will be spared cuts in nearly a decade. Mental health services will take reductions, along with the safety-net hospitals and clinics.