House gives final passage to $24.6B state budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana House has given final passage to a $24.6 billion budget to finance state government operations next year, agreeing to the version written by the Senate.

A 75-22 vote Friday sends the spending plan to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The governor can strip individual items he doesn't like with his line-item veto. But lawmakers gave him most of what he sought in his budget proposal.

The plan includes money for services to help the disabled, higher education and public schools. Rank-and-file state workers would get a pay raise.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin says the budget is an improvement over previous years.

But Rep. John Bel Edwards, Democratic leader in the House, raised concerns about the large amount of patchwork financing used to balance the budget.

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