House passes Senate budget changes to fund health care

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Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Marksville, tried to stall the passage of the state budget on Thursday but failed. (Photo: Kaylee Poche, LSU Manship School News Service)

Devon Sanders and Kaylee Poche

The House on Thursday voted 61-37 to pass the major changes that the Senate made to the state budget to fund health care services while slashing spending on state agencies and TOPS scholarships.

The budget bill now goes to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who has called a special session that starts Tuesday to try to persuade the Legislature to raise revenue and avoid the cuts.

As a result, some legislators called the bill a “pretend budget” since some of the cuts, which include a 30 percent reduction in TOPS funding, could still be averted.

Edwards has called on legislators to extend some temporary revenue measures to cover a projected $648 million shortfall in next year’s state budget.

Read the full story in The Donaldsonville Chief.

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