Louisiana House votes for $36B budget, federal aid spending

Louisiana News

Rep. Jerome “Zee” Zeringue, R-Houma, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, talks with a legislative staffer during the opening day of the Louisiana legislative session in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, April 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana House has overwhelmingly backed a $36 billion operating budget for next year.

The spending plan approved Thursday is packed with pay raises for teachers, college professors and corrections workers as the state faces few of the financial woes of prior years.

Spending on health care and education programs would grow, and most other agencies would largely keep standstill funding.

Louisiana’s TOPS college program would cover full tuition for eligible students. Lawmakers also passed measures to spend about $925 million in one-time federal coronavirus relief on infrastructure projects and aid programs.

The budget bills head to the Senate for debate. A final deal isn’t expected until June.

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