House narrowly backs budget bill with steep cuts
BATON ROUGE (AP) - The Louisiana House has narrowly approved a $27 billion state operating budget for next year that could shutter health care services and would leave the popular TOPS college tuition program short of full financing.
Lawmakers voted 55-47 for the spending plan for the financial year that begins July 1. Nearly all Democrats opposed the proposal.
Thursday's vote was a win for House Republican leaders who pushed for passage of a budget rather than wait to craft something in a special session as Gov. John Bel Edwards prefers.
Louisiana has a $648 million budget gap next year. Edwards wants lawmakers to replace some expiring temporary taxes in a special session.
Republicans who supported the budget say gaps could be filled later in the special session.
The debate shifts to the Senate.
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