BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's state senators have prioritized home- and community-based services for the elderly and disabled in their version of next year's nearly $26 billion state operating budget.

The Senate Finance Committee on Monday heavily reworked the House-crafted budget bill.

The Senate budget proposal would provide 48 percent of the financing needed to fully pay for the TOPS college tuition program. Safety net hospitals that care for the poor would be short. But most of the programs that care for the elderly and people with developmental disabilities would be fully funded.

The full Senate is scheduled to debate the budget Wednesday. The legislative session ends June 6. But Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking lawmakers to convene a special session only minutes later to make tax changes that could help lessen cuts.


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