Senators reverse most of House budget cuts
BATON ROUGE, La. — The Senate's budget-writing committee refused to agree to deep cuts pushed by House Republicans for next year's $25 million state operating budget.
Senators on the Finance Committee restored an estimated $350 million to next year's 2012-13 spending plans. They added back the one-time money removed by a bloc of conservative House Republicans, and they also tapped into available health care financing and plugged in further piecemeal dollars.
The changes would stop cuts that higher education and health care leaders said would devastate critical services, shutter health care programs and push college campuses to the brink of financial emergency.
As it heads to the full Senate, the largest cut, about $71 million, would fall on public colleges.
Lawmakers have until June 4 to craft a final version of the budget.