Gay rights activists celebrated two big victories this week before the U.S. Supreme Court, as justices overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California.
Now gay marriage opponents and supporters are turning their attention to individual states, like New Jersey, where polls show most residents support same-sex marriage. So far, one person, Gov. Chris Christie, has stood in the way.
The US Supreme Court may have recognized all marriage as equal Wednesday, but same-sex couple still can’t get married in Louisiana. Same-sex marriages that are valid in other states will not be recognized by the state if the couple chooses to move to Louisiana.
In the final hours of the legislative session, lawmakers have passed a $25.4 billion budget compromise to finance the state for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
The Senate approved the deal with a 38-1 vote. The House voted 104-0 Thursday and the deal has Gov. Bobby Jindal’s backing.
The budget includes a $69 million increase for local school districts and teachers sought by House Democrats. To address concerns of House Republicans, lawmakers cut down the use of one-time financing for recurring expenses.
Senators rewrote the representatives’ version of the budget, re-allocating arguably unstable funds that the House had painstakingly removed. But it may be hard for representatives to vote against the budget.
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That’s because it sets aside $50 million for a one-time salary bonus for public school teachers.