Lawmakers agree to veto-proof budget, tax deal on final day
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers have wrapped up this year's legislative session, reaching agreement on next year's $24 billion budget and the tax plans that will keep public colleges and health services from deep cuts.
The deal was struck and approved in the 60-day session's final hours Thursday.
To escape vetoes of the financing plans, the House caved into a demand from Gov. Bobby Jindal that they find a way - at least on paper - to help him keep his no-tax increase pledge. The Republican governor has guarded his anti-tax record as he readies for a likely presidential campaign.
To balance the budget, the House and Senate agreed to raise cigarette taxes 50 cents per pack, shrink tax breaks and scale back business subsidies, to drum up hundreds of millions of dollars.