On a 39-0 vote, the state Senate advanced a $25.6 billion state spending plan Thursday that funds hospitals, schools and other state services.
Few questions were asked on House Bill 1, the state operating budget for the fiscal year that begins in July.
The Senate Finance Committee greatly revamped the budget before it reached the Senate floor. The committee restored one-time money that the House purged. Some Republicans in the House argued that it is irresponsible to continually rely on dollars that likely will materialize once.
At Gov. Bobby Jindal’s urging, the Senate Finance Committee restored the dollars, plumping up the budget by more than $300 million.
State Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville and the committee’s chairman, told the Senate Thursday that he is comfortable with the budget.
In contrast to tension in the House that resulted in the House taking two days to advance the budget, the mood in the Senate Thursday was lighthearted.
The Senate zipped through the 329-page budget in less than two hours while members of the governor’s staff watched from the sidelines.