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BATON ROUGE - The state House Ways and Means committee said today they would defer all income tax repeal bills for this session, essentially killing Governor Bobby Jindal's main plan for tax reform.

Committee chair Joel Robideaux (R-Lafayette) said such bills already scheduled for a hearing would still be heard, if the lawmaker sponsoring them still wished that to happen.

"It is my hope that the work done these past few months can serve as the foundation for an ongoing debate on how to best reform our state's tax structure," he said.

Robideaux said he had spoken with numerous members of the House and legislative leaders before making the decision.

"It would not be fiscally responsible if we moved a bill removing the state income tax without replacing the revenue," said Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley. "From the beginning, my priority has been to make sure we have precise numbers and that we replace the revenue. Members I have spoken to since this issue began, in the fall, have agreed with this approach."

Jindal himself pulled back his plan to immediately repeal the state personal and corporate income tax after meeting stiff opposition prior to the session. He instead called on lawmakers to send him a bill repealing the tax, and several bills were filed which suggested doing so over the next decade.

News 2's Mike Steele is at the Capitol and will have more details tonight.

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