BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana House has overwhelmingly backed a $36 billion operating budget for next year.

The spending plan approved Thursday is packed with pay raises for teachers, college professors and corrections workers as the state faces few of the financial woes of prior years. Spending on health care and education programs would grow, and most other agencies would largely keep standstill funding. Louisiana’s TOPS college program would cover full tuition for eligible students. Lawmakers also passed measures to spend about $925 million in one-time federal coronavirus relief on infrastructure projects and aid programs.

The budget bills head to the Senate for debate. A final deal isn’t expected until June.

(Story written by MELINDA DESLATTE/AP)

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