House debate on one of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s top bills to overhaul public schools continued Thursday night, nearly 11 hours after arguments began.
The measure, House Bill 976, would expand state aid for some low-income students to attend private or parochial schools with state aid.
Indications are that the bill will win final House approval.
But when that vote will occur is unclear.
The House began a new round of debate on amendments shortly before 8 p.m., which was to be followed by more comments by House members before a final vote.
House leaders announced Thursday evening that food would be served near the House floor.
Many lawmakers dined on pizza earlier in the day when the House kept working through the lunch hour after starting about 9:15 a.m.
Despite repeated tries, opponents of the measure failed to add any substantive amendments to the bill.
Jindal has said the proposal would allow students and families to escape struggling schools.
They would have to be rated “C,” “D” and “F” by the state to be eligible.
Opponents argued that it would be unconstitutional for the state to spend state tax dollars long reserved for public schools to subsidize students at private and parochial schools.
Backers call the aid scholarships. Opponents say it is vouchers.
The day-long debate is highly unusual, especially in the second week of a legislative session that will last nearly three months.