Louisiana lawmakers winding down coronavirus special session

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Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley, center, speaks to Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, left, and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, as Louisiana lawmakers near the end of their special session, on Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers have reached the final hours of a coronavirus response special session that must end Tuesday.

A unanimous House vote gave final passage to a bill using federal virus aid to provide $250 one-time “hazard pay” checks to thousands of front-line employees who stayed on their jobs in the early days of the outbreak.

The Senate voted 33-2 to shield K-12 schools and colleges from most civil lawsuits from students and teachers who contract COVID-19. It requires another vote before it can reach Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk.

Still outstanding is a final deal on the $35 billion state operating budget for the new financial year beginning Wednesday.

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