Panels send 3 revenue bills to full House

Louisiana college students wore t-shirts to the Capitol Wednesday emblazoned with the names of colleges outside the state to underscore that they might have to look elsewhere if TOPS was cut. (Photo: Kaylee Poche, LSU Manship School News Service)

Paul Braun, Drew White and Tryfon Boukouvidis

House panels on Wednesday advanced three revenue-raising bills that would reduce the state’s $648 million budget shortfall by varying amounts and passed a supplemental spending bill aimed at reducing cuts to TOPS scholarships.

None of the revenue bills, which were approved by the House Ways and Means Committee, would provide as much revenue as Gov. John Bel Edwards has sought to avoid cuts in state services.

The three bills proposed extending different sales tax rates, ranging from one-third to one-half of an expiring penny. The committee’s action set up a potentially dramatic set of votes on the House floor Thursday as the Legislature tries for a third time this year to resolve the state’s budget woes before the fiscal year ends June 30.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee passed a supplemental budget bill that could fund TOPS at 90 percent to 97 percent of current levels depending on how much additional revenue was raised.

Read the story in The Gonzales Weekly Citizen.

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