BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — With the narrowest vote, lawmakers in the Louisiana House spurned their GOP leaders and backed a $28 billion-plus operating budget that would use every dollar forecast to be available for spending.

The vote was a blow to House Republican leaders who wanted to withhold $100 million from the spending bill, in anticipation that Louisiana's income predictions are too optimistic.

The House decision was a victory for Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Fifty-six House members, including rank-and-file Republicans who voted with Democrats, agreed Wednesday to a spending plan that looks largely like a version previously supported by state senators. It takes 53 votes for a bill to pass.

House GOP leaders' refusal to take up that Senate proposal helped cause the negotiation meltdown that forced lawmakers into a special legislative session.


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