Louisiana House moves into second day of budget debate
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House has resumed its debate on the nearly $26 billion state operating budget proposed for next year.
College and health care programs are on the chopping block as lawmakers continue to grapple with how to close a $600 million shortfall in the financial year that begins July 1.
It was the second day of the budget debate. The House spent nine hours Thursday haggling over how the state should spend its available money.
Lawmakers were expected to consider reworking Thursday's decision to protect the safety net hospitals for the uninsured at the expense of the TOPS free college tuition program.
The hospitals were prioritized with full funding in a narrow 49-43 vote. That leaves the tuition aid program $72 million short to cover all TOPS-eligible students.