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Dividing lines drawn: House and Senate try to negotiate deal

7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Monday, February 20 2017 Feb 20, 2017 February 20, 2017 11:21 AM February 20, 2017 in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the state House and Senate have staked out their positions, each drawing up proposals to close Louisiana's $304 million deficit.

Now, the two sides have three days remaining in the budget-rebalancing special legislative session to reach a deal. The session must end Wednesday.

The central disagreement remains how deeply to cut state spending in the remaining four months of the budget year versus how much to tap into Louisiana's "rainy day" fund.

Gov. John Bel Edwards wants the Legislature to use the full $119.6 million available.

The House backed a plan that would use nearly $75 million, with some Republicans resistant to using money from the savings account at all.

The version of the budget-rebalancing proposal backed by the Senate would use $99 million from the fund.

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