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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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BATON ROUGE - House Republican leaders are asking senators to agree to remove more than $150 million they want to spend in Louisiana's budget next year. It's the House's initial offer in negotiations over a final version of the $28 billion-plus spending plan.

The proposal, obtained by The Associated Press, would remove dollars the Senate proposed to spend on health services, colleges, prisons, state police and the child welfare agency. Without the money, agency leaders said they'd eliminate mental health programs, release prisoners early and threaten public safety.

The House GOP proposal also would eliminate a Senate-proposed pay raise for 38,000 state workers.

House GOP leaders say the Senate budget depends on unreliable financing and would lead to midyear cuts. Senators say the House wants to make unnecessary cuts when dollars are available.

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