BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House has backed a nearly $29 billion budget for next year that significantly scales back the spending sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The 63-40 vote for passage Thursday fell largely along partisan lines, with Republicans supporting the smaller spending plan and Democrats opposed.
Republicans cut spending sought by Edwards across agencies. Heaviest hits would be taken by the health, education, prisons, public safety and child welfare departments. They fully funded the TOPS tuition program at the expense of health care.
The proposal, headed next to the Senate, uses $235 million less in state tax dollars than Louisiana is projected to receive.
GOP leaders say the effort is a hedge against expectations the projections were too optimistic. Edwards and Democrats say the reduction causes unnecessary harm to agencies.