Lawmakers haggling over money as session nears end
BATON ROUGE - Negotiations are heading down to the wire between the House and Senate over how to craft next year's $25 billion state operating budget.
Lawmakers hope to avoid a meltdown before session must end Thursday at 6 p.m. - and keep themselves out of a special session.
House and Senate leaders spent much of Wednesday out of public view trading ideas and seeking a compromise for the spending plan that will fund government services and programs for the 2013-14 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jack Donahue says he's hopeful lawmakers can resolve their differences without having a special session.
But lawmakers acknowledged an early morning meeting Wednesday between Republican leaders of the House and Senate didn't go well. Closed-door meetings then resumed a few hours later.
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