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Treasurer Kennedy on budget issues

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BATON ROUGE- The budget battle is heating up today at the Capitol. Lawmakers are expecting a long debate as they consider a dozen tax changes in the hopes of getting more money to balance next year's budget. State Treasurer, John Kennedy talked to News 2's John Pastorek about what the discussion means for the public.

Louisiana currently faces a budget shortfall of $1.8 billion. Today, the full Louisiana House of Representatives will debate legislation to approve tax increases that would generate millions of dollars for the state budget.

One bill up for debate deals with potential tax breaks for the film industry. Right now, Baton Rouge is a hot spot for moviemakers because of the welcoming tax incentives. However, some people argue that the booming industry isn't worth the burden it puts on tax payers.

Baton Rouge mayor Kip Holden is a large supporter of the current film tax credits. He says the good film industry brings a lot of jobs to the city, and pumps money into the economy.

Another proposal up for discussion aims to increase the cigarette taxes by 32 cents per pack. Louisiana currently boasts one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation.

According to Treasurer Kennedy, in order to fill the massive budget hole Louisiana needs to set priorities on where the money should go.



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