Louisiana Senate backs operating budget

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The Louisiana Senate overwhelmingly backed the state operating budget for the next fiscal year.

Senators voted 38-1 for the $29 billion budget. 

The bill now moves backed to the House on the final day of the special session. 

Shreveport Senator John Milkovich voted against the bill. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards called the special session so lawmakers can deal with a $648 million budget deficit. 

“Today, we moved one step closer to avoiding catastrophic cuts to critical state services.  I want to thank the bipartisan group of senators who have worked across the aisle to build responsible consensus.  This is not an easy task.  Without replacing the revenue needed to fully fund our critical priorities at their current funding level, tough choices have to be made.  We have worked together to minimize the negative impact on the people of Louisiana, but make no mistake, deep cuts will still be imposed in some areas. However, these strategic spending cuts can be made in a more responsible way, while still reducing the tax burden on the people of Louisiana by more than $400 million.  I am confident that the legislature can get its work done in the time we have left together and continue to build on the momentum we are seeing in Louisiana” said Gov. Edwards.

The Senate backed budget protects higher education and fully funds TOPS.

It also funds University Health in Shreveport and the medical schools in Shreveport and New Orleans. 

The special sessions ends at Midnight on Monday. 

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