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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's lawmakers have reached a deal to close the state's $304 million budget deficit.

The agreement won final support Wednesday with only hours to go before the budget-rebalancing special session must end.

After days of haggling, the arrangement will use $99 million from the state's "rainy day" fund, tap into other available financing and make $80 million to $90 million in cuts to eliminate the budget gap with four months remaining in the financial year.

The question had largely been whether lawmakers in the House would agree to tap into the rainy day reserve account. The Senate earlier in the 10-day session had agreed to use of the fund for $99 million.

The House vote for the rainy day fund legislation Wednesday was overwhelming: 92-9. It required 70 votes to pass.

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