Louisiana Senate approves $35 billion dollar budget with little debate

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BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33)(FOX 44) – Louisiana lawmakers advance more than $35 billion dollar budget in time for the end of the special session.

The spending plan for the next fiscal year will largely cover the gaps left in the budget from lack of revenue following the outbreak. It’s comprised of money from both the rainy day fund and more than $1.8 billion dollars in federal coronavirus relief.

The Senate unanimously agreed to pass the budget in a 38-0 vote. Senator Karen Carter Peterson says the budget needs some work for the next fiscal year.

” It’s not a perfect budget, but that’s what debate is for,” Peterson says.

Though the process ran smoothly, lawmakers still debated several amendments for the spending plan. Senator Karen Cater Peterson advocated for her amendment to be voted into the budget. Her goal was to revamp $60 million dollars in cuts and award them to civil servants in the form of a raise.

” I’m hopeful that in October we will have success in restoring all of these cuts to those departments.”

There were some victories on the Senate floor. They agreed to give front-line workers a $250 dollar paycheck in a much anticipated bill. This bill, just like the approved budget will go to the House for final review and end up on the Governor’s desk for approval.

The start of the next fiscal year begins July 1.

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