Louisiana House backs budget with new taxes, but still cuts
BATON ROUGE (AP) - House lawmakers have agreed to a nearly $29 billion Louisiana state operating budget that contains new taxes, but still cuts spending on colleges, health services and public safety programs.
The House voted 96-5 and 96-7 for the two main budget bills Thursday, sending them to the Senate for debate.
The 2018-19 spending plan slashes less deeply than a prior version vetoed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, because it accounts for $400 million in new taxes backed by the House.
Still, the TOPS college tuition program would take a cut, along with public safety programs. The health department says it would have to eliminate or shrink mental health programs and services for disabled children.
House Republican leaders downplay the cuts, saying total spending across state government would drop by 1 percent.
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