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House backs big budget compromise

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BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $25 billion budget today which sways from spending plans recommended by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The House stripped $500 million from Jindal's plan which was either one-time money, or not guaranteed. They instead opted for cuts to state agencies, trimming tax breaks and providing tax amnesty that's expected to generate $200 million.

The bill passed overwhelmingly 93-5.

Debate on the plan began early this morning, as lawmakers hurried to make last-minute changes.

"We've created more jobs than anybody else, our unemployment is lower than anybody else, but we still can't pay our bills," said Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite).

The House found about $27 million from trimming tax breaks for the movie and solar industries. Film, a booming industry, is something lawmakers say is vital to the state. Jindal says the compromise could set the state back in terms of development efforts.

The bill will move on to the Senate for review.


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