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Louisiana lawmakers still battle over budget as session comes to an end

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -  Republican House lawmakers say they're concerned the Senate version of the state operating budget would leave Louisiana vulnerable to another round of midyear cuts next year.

The House spending plan sought to leave $206 million unspent, even though the state income forecast predicts the dollars will be available.

House GOP leaders say they want to give the state a cushion against their expectations the forecast is too optimistic. If the forecast comes up short, cuts would have to be made during the budget year that begins July 1.

The forecast has come up short every year for nearly a decade.

Senators say leaving money on the table would cause damaging, unnecessary cuts now.

House members also have other objections about the Senate budget, including pay raises added for state workers.

The session will convene today at 6:30 pm and it must end by midnight.

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