The Clarion-Ledger, 1/31/8

House lawmakers today agreed on a bill that will fund education, the first such legislation to address what is expected to be a contentious issue in the 2008 session.

House Bill 513 was debated on the floor of that chamber today, with 95 legislators supporting it and 26 opposing it. Mostly Republicans voted against it.

The bill spends about $67 million more on education than legislators recommended in budget meetings last fall. Most of that amount would be used to provide a 3 percent pay raise for all teachers beginning in January 2009.