By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - In a flurry of last-minute approvals, lawmakers signed off on spending deals that will finance state construction work next year, that address a recent Supreme Court ruling and that direct the flow of a state surplus.
They completed the budget work Thursday.
A nearly $5 billion construction budget will continue ongoing projects, but it has nearly $330 million in new projects than the state can afford to start next year. That leaves the governor to pick and choose which ones get funding.
Meanwhile, the House and Senate backed a plan that will use a $113 million state surplus to fill a gap in this year's Medicaid program, rather than repay the state's "rainy day" fund.
Lawmakers also stripped funding for the state's voucher program out of the public school formula.