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Tax credit for working poor targeted in legislative debate

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BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers are clashing over a Louisiana tax credit for the working poor.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday debated competing bills about Louisiana's Earned Income Tax Credit, aimed at working people with low to moderate incomes.

Republican Rep. Tony Bacala is proposing to end the state tax credit to save Louisiana $47 million a year, to help offset a massive state budget gap. He says that could save some college programs and health services from deep cuts.

Democratic Rep. Walt Leger wants to double the credit, saying it could help offset the impact of a sales tax hike sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Leger says the credit helps the working poor afford basic life expenses.

The House committee didn't make a decision on either bill Thursday.

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