Capitol Views by Maginnis: Senate OK's spending bill; showdown with House conservatives on tap
With over $300 million restored that was cut by the House, the Senate passed the appropriations bill today, 39-0, setting up a showdown with the lower chamber. With minimal exceptions, Finance Chairman Sen. Jack Donahue fended off about a dozen amendments seeking to restore funding to a variety of deleted programs, from the Louisiana Center for Women and Government to stipends for certified teachers. The upper chamber considered the bill for about two hours. The House might vote on concurring on Senate changes as early as this afternoon. If concurrence fails, the budget would go to a conference committee. In Senate Finance Committee, some of the $268 million in one-time money was moved around and matched to nonrecurring expenses in order to comply with the "Geymann rule" restricting such funds. That is not expected to be good enough in the view of fiscal conservatives, who vow to fight the reinclusion of the funds. But momentum is moving toward using that money in order to stabilize a budget already under stress. Read the full column here for additional coverage of action at the Capitol today.
(John Maginnis will publish a daily update throughout the legislative session on Daily Report PM. The report is also available to LaPolitics Weekly subscribers on the Subscribers Only page at LaPolitics.com. Registration is available on the homepage.)
Louisiana Public Broadcasting is providing a daily video update featuring highlights of the session, which you can see beginning at 6 p.m. here.
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