Conservative lawmakers fail to block budget bill

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A bloc of conservative Republicans in the House couldn't stall a budget bill that taps into one-time dollars to help piece together spending plans year after year.

The House voted 63-38 Thursday to send the bill to the Senate, raising questions about whether the coalition was fracturing and would be unable to hold together in negotiating a final version of next year's $25 billion operating budget with the Senate.

The group of GOP lawmakers objects to using the one-time cash, calling it an irresponsible way to pay for state operating expenses that reappear year after year.

The Republican Jindal administration and other lawmakers argue removing the one-time money would force steep cuts to public colleges and health services.

Click here to view House Bill 822.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)