There are only a few weeks remaining until legislators will adjourn their regular session on June 2. For bills that have not passed their house of origin, time is a factor.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jack Donahue is proposing to raise the minimum grade point average and ACT score required to get a TOPS award for future students.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin, who handles the budget bill, began the debate by talking of the state's ongoing budget problems, saying balancing the spending plans is always difficult.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization deal for the LSU hospital in Lafayette was running $6 million over budget by April's end with two months remaining in the fiscal year.
Opponents say the new restrictions are medically unnecessary and are designed to limit women's access to abortion.