Senate releases $29B budget plan, spends above House plan
BATON ROUGE - Senators unveiled their $29 billion state operating budget proposal for next year, and it contains fewer cuts than the House wanted.
The proposal headed to the full senate would keep TOPS college tuition program at full financing, as the House proposed.
But the Senate version would spend more than the House sought on colleges, health services, state prisons, veterans programs and the child welfare agency.
The House wanted to leave $206 million unspent, in case revenue falls short of projections. Senators are proposing to spend $80 million of that to fill gaps in this year's budget and the remaining dollars in next year's spending plan.
The Senate Finance Committee backed the budget plan without objection Thursday. Lawmakers have until June 8 to reach a deal before the session ends.