BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Senators have backed a $25.6 billion state operating budget for next year that contains hundreds of millions more than the spending plans passed by the House.
Few changes were made Thursday, and the Senate debate contained none of the rancor that marked the ongoing House dispute over the 2012-13 budget.
A bloc of conservative House members successfully stripped one-time financing pushed by the Jindal administration to pay for continuing services. The lawmakers argued use of the money was fiscally irresponsible since it wasn't certain to appear each year.
The governor's budget advisers and senators said removal of the dollars would devastate public colleges and health care services.
The budget bill heads back to the House, where the Jindal administration hopes to drum up enough votes to back the Senate version.