UPDATE: Sen. Walsworth reacts to senate budget

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BATON ROUGE, La. (Associated Press) - Update:

4:48 p.m.

Senator Mike Walsworth is weighing in on the budget the Senate passed on Tuesday.

"It was still some cuts that was made," he said. "I don't think anybody enjoys these cuts so we'll see what we can do to raise some dollars in the special session that's going to be called next week."

He also said they spent a lot of money with this budget, but they'll need to spend more.

"It's not everything we want, we understand that but we have spent a lot of money. We spent probably 90 percent of everything we got so we still got about 10 percent more dollars that we need to send and we'll spend those."

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1:32 PM

A divided Louisiana Senate backed a more than $28 billion state operating budget that would make steep cuts across state government to protect health programs for the elderly and disabled.

The budget approved in a 27-10 vote Tuesday would shield nursing home residents from evictions and keep Louisiana's safety-net hospitals from closure.

But to keep things in balance and account for expiring taxes, senators propose slashing financing to colleges, eliminating the food stamp program and shrinking public safety programs. TOPS would cover only 70 percent of college tuition costs.

The spending plan would start July 1.

Senators say they don't want the budget to take effect, but think it demonstrates the damaging cuts required without taxes. They hope lawmakers will pass replacement taxes in a special session starting next week.