Louisiana Senate releases $37B budget proposal for next year

Louisiana Politics

Senate Finance Chairman Bodi White, R-Central, left, and Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, ready for a discussion of the Senate’s budget proposal in a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday, May 24, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana state senators have unveiled their version of a nearly $37 billion state operating budget that includes millions of dollars in new spending on education programs, pay raises and legislative pet projects.

The Senate’s proposed spending blueprint for the financial year that begins July 1 was pieced together and approved by the Senate Finance Committee.

It would include pay raises for K-12 school teachers, college faculty, prison guards, juvenile justice workers and rank-and-file state employees.

The TOPS program would fully cover tuition costs for all eligible college students.

The need-based Go Grant program for college students would grow larger. Payments to foster parents would increase.

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