Make a deal? Lawmakers start new session with same divisions
BATON ROUGE - Unable to reach a budget deal in their regular session, Louisiana's lawmakers have moved into a special session, with deep divisions that seem unlikely to make reaching compromise any easier.
House Republican leaders, Senate leaders and Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards seem entrenched in their positions.
The dispute centers on how much to spend in a $28 billion-plus budget to pay for government agencies, services and colleges in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Most House Republicans want to spend less than the full forecast, in hopes of avoiding midyear budget cuts if predictions come up short.
The Senate, the governor and House Democrats want to spend all dollars available, saying otherwise they'd have to make unnecessary cuts.
The special session must end June 19. Lawmakers begin work Monday.
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